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ZERO IMPACT MANUFACTURING INITIATIVE (ZIMI)

Zero Impact Manufacturing Initiative (ZIMI) is an innovative concept designed to mitigate the adverse environmental impact of industry or other developmental activity through introduction of clean technologies and practices skillfully integrating the innovative zero emission approach with zero consumption of prime or non-renewable resources. The concept has been developed by Dr. Ashok Sharma of Cleantech International Foundation who simulated a series of innovative clean technology modules for a wide variety of polluting industry as environmentally viable alternatives to prevailing products, processes and materials leading to measurable emission cuts, energy and material savings, toxicity avoidance, hazard mitigation and reduced freshwater consumption. The modules developed were field tested as effective, versatile and globally replicable with potential to reduce the overall environmental impact of the activity in question facilitating environmental management beyond compliance with assured payback. Examples include zero emission in electroplating, textile dyeing, food processing, metallurgy, metal fabrication and herbal extraction apart from low energy processing in textile, powder drying, fruit juice concentration and plywood industry. In a significant development, virtual waterless manufacturing modules were simulated for the sugar, dairy, fruit processing and textile industry, featuring zero freshwater intake together with zero wastewater discharge. Finally a combination of measures like zero emission with zero energy, zero freshwater and zero prime materials intake could demonstrably achieve zero environmental impact of activities and facilities. The technologies demonstrated range from simple separation and recycling technologies through intermediate techniques like membrane technology, ozonation, freeze drying, freeze concentration & micro-wave technology to emerging techniques like laser, e-beam and supercritical extraction. Bio technology, catalysis, exothermic, endothermic and low temperature processing have also been gainfully deployed. Precise process controls, simulation and flow-analysis are deployed as additional measures of impact mitigation. ZIMI is universally applicable to all sectors of industrial, developmental and human activities and holds potential to eliminate pressure on global resources as well as the landfill sites with an assured payback and holds promise to reduce the total environmental impact of industrial activity to almost a third, assuring a proportionate reduction in global emission of greenhouse gases.  

The spectrum of industries exposed to scanner and consequent re-engineering for zero impact treatment includes a diverse range of processes including metallurgy, food processing, sugar, paper, dairy, chemicals & petrochemicals, textile processing, foundry, heat treatment, surface coating, industrial drying, refrigeration, evaporation and other basic energy intensive processes. Measures applied range from low or no investment to total revamping of processes usually assuring a payback of less than two years. The techniques applied go beyond the normal conservation practices that are quite familiar to industry to rethink the entire manufacturing process in terms of viable alternatives placing lower demands on energy along with other inputs like water and other raw materials for total impact reduction on global environment.