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To reduce consumption of fresh water and process chemicals and to reduce treatment of polluted process water in galvanising plants, the implementation of closed loops for process water and the recovery of valuable process chemicals are necessary. The realisation of new processes for thermal treatment of polluted process water, which are suitable to generate high-quality process water and to recover valuable process chemicals, provides economical and ecological benefit for the iron and steel industry.

Balances for water, material and energy have been determined at a galvanising plant for white industries, which show potentials for process optimisation. Applications for the reuse of excess heat arising from electrolytic plating sections have been discussed. Ultrafiltration bath care is a suitable method to separate organic impurities and iron abrasion from degreasing solutions. Solvent extraction and ion exchange can be used for the recycling of zinc and for sulphuric acid. The recycling of rinsing water by membrane technology is a promising method to purify water from rinsing after degreasing, pickling and phosphating. Using excess heat for feed pre-heating generally improves permeate flux in applications with membrane technology. Excess heat use for vacuum evaporation is an economical process for thermal treatment of water from acidic rinsing in electrolytic zinc galvanising plants. A convenient method of heat integration is building heating, because up to 100% of the excess heat can be reused.

Additional information

Authors: WOLTERS R, BFI, Dortmund (DE);SCHMIDT B, BFI, Dortmund (DE);ALGUACHIL F J, CENIM, Madrid (ES);BIWER R, Ewald Gieber, Dudelange (LU)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20224 EN (2002), pp.119. Euro: 17.50
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-NA-20224-EN-S Available from EUR-OP sales agents. URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-3253-5
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