Savings & payback period

Innovative solution

Life Dime is an innovative solution for the treatment of liquid waste derived from metal industry finishing activities. These are have a high contaminant load and are toxic.

Life Dime technology is able to recover valuable raw materials from a hazardous waste-stream produced in high quantities.

Savings Life Dime


The average annual cost savings associated with a Life Dime plant amount to 550.000€.

Payback Life Dime


The average payback period of a Life Dime plant is 1,5 years.

Life Dime’s main goal is achieved through the following specific objectives


Provide a Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) process capable of reducing the potential environmental damage of Spent Pickling Liquor (SPL) and Spent Strip Liquor (SSL) from pickling and galvanizing operations respectively, with no additional sludge generation.


Mitigate the hazardous condition of metal finishing pickling wastewater derived from removing oxide coatings from metal. This is done by regenerating ≥99% of the hydrochloric acid (HCl) used to perform pickling operations. Life Dime solution recovers the free and combined HCl contained in SPL and SSL, reducing the costs and environmental concerns associated with neutralization and disposal operations.


SPL and SSL contain dissolved iron, chromium, copper or zinc metal salts, among others. One of the main aims of the project is to separate and concentrate up to ≥99% of metal salts contained in SPL and SSL.

Cost reduction

In addition to the environmental benefits, Life Dime’s main added value is the significant reduction of costs for the companies that own the technology. These big savings come from the regeneration and recovery of the following raw materials:

  • 1

    Hydrochloric acid

    Regeneration of 99% of the Hydrochloric acid (HCl) used in the pickling process. This acid can be reused in a new bath.
  • 2

    Sulphate heptahydrate

    Recovery of ferrous sulphate heptahydrate (Fe2SO4·7H2O), crystals that can be commercialised as a by-product (fertilizer).
  • 3

    Zinc chloride

    Recovery of zinc chloride (ZnCl2) that can be fully reused in the galvanizing process.

Wastewater treatment, reuse and recovery of resources

The release of heavy metals into water systems due to the discharge of industrial wastewater causes considerable environmental concern.

There are two processes which are commonly used in the metal surface treatment industry, and generate a large quantity of wastewater full of heavy metals and other contaminants: Pickling and galvanizing surface treatment processes.

These two processes are predominantly liquid-based and the consumption of water and its management are core issues, as it also affects the use of raw materials and their loss to the environment.

The LIFE DIME project offers an innovative solution for the treatment of the wastewater produced in metallurgic industries such as the steel, iron or aluminium sector. It provides a zero liquid discharge system with a full recovery of the most important raw materials used in the surface treatment processes of those metals.

This industrial wastewater treatment solution offers the following environmental benefits

ZLD Life Dime


There is zero liquid discharge as no liquid waste is discharged in rivers, lakes or sea. Following the Life Dime process clean water is obtained which can be reused.

Hydrochloric Acid Life Dime


The full recovery of the acids used to perform the metal baths in the surface treatment process. This makes the process highly cost-efficient because an important and costly raw material such as HCl is recovered and reused.

Hazardous Metal Life Dime


The full recovery of hazardous metal salts within the spent liquors offering the possibility of its reuse or commercialization. This is key in order to eliminate the hazardous condition and the environmental danger of metal wastewaters as well as ensure the cost-effectiveness of the solution.