Environmentally conscious and sustainable product developments

CO2-optimized lubricants

We are pursuing a range of developments and measures to avoid and reduce emissions. Our research and development department is constantly working on innovative solutions that reduce the burden on the environment and improve our customers’ processes. A further step in this direction is the development ofCO2-optimized lubricants. ZG uses three process technologies in the production ofCO2-optimized lubricants:

Gentle splitting – filtration of used oils

In the “gentle splitting” process, oil-water phases are separated and deposits are removed and cleaned by filtration. The result is a clean product that is suitable for direct reuse. The lubricants recovered through “soft splitting” save up to 90%CO2 compared to conventionally produced lubricants based on petroleum raffinate.

Refining – refining used oils into sustainable secondary raffinates

With the help of our refinery, a base oil for the future is created – exceptional, sustainable and virtually waste-free. Our refinery products are sustainably produced, resource-saving and high-quality lubricants. The lubricants produced by “refining” save up to 75 %CO2 compared to conventionally produced lubricants based on petroleum raffinate.

Biogenic – Lubricants from biogenic base oils

The production of lubricants with biogenic raw materials represents an additional option for the production of CO2-optimized lubricants. Biogenic raw materials offer potential for environmentally friendly development, especially if recycling is not feasible. Examples of this are consumable lubricants such as punching oils and corrosion protection agents.

By developing lubricants from biogenic raw materials, we save up to 40%CO2 compared to mineral oils from fossil raw materials.


Electromobility is the key to more sustainable andCO2-free mobility worldwide:
The electrification of the drivetrain results in completely new requirements, which in turn have an impact on the properties and composition of our lubricants. For us, electromobility is the central element of a more sustainable and climate-friendly transportation system. For this reason, we are already developing new lubricant solutions and cooling media for these areas.

  • Battery
  • Fuel cell
  • E-motor
  • Power electronics

Lubricants for environmentally sensitive areas

They combine the ideas of ecology and economy, are readily biodegradable (according to the OECD degradability test) and technically sophisticated.

  • Saw chain oils + tool cleaner
  • Hydraulic oils
  • Fats
  • Concrete release agent

Energy-efficient cleaners for surface treatment

Low temperature cleaners that reduce energy consumption and heat input in painting systems.

  • Process optimization
  • Saving energy and increasing efficiency while maintaining or improving quality
  • Reduction of the cleaning and process temperature

Sustainable printing ink developments

As a specialist in radiation-curing printing inks, we develop modern, sustainable printing ink systems for packaging, label and commercial applications.
Our printing inks are faithful companions in your everyday life – from the supermarket to the dining table at home. Our printing inks are highly reactive systems which, thanks to their formulation, do not require any kind of volatile raw materials.
This makes our printing inks solvent-free and emission-free, thus offering an economic and ecological advantage.

  • Mineral oil and solvent-free printing ink systems
  • Low-migration printing inks for food packaging
  • Energy-efficient LED printing ink systems
  • Deinkable and recyclable printing ink systems
  • Compostable printing inks for food packaging

Recycling + recovery

The concept of recycling is deeply rooted at Zeller+Gmelin. Among other things, our subsidiary Südöl recycles used machine and engine oils and processes them into new base oils and fuels. In this way, they are reintroduced into the production cycle instead of being disposed of at great expense.

Solvent distillation

Our Process Chemicals for Coatings (PCH) division offers, among other things, solutions for recycling process media containing light solvents (e.g. from paint shops).

The light solvent-containing liquids from paint shops can be used as a secondary carbon source in alternative treatment plants. Instead of thermal waste disposal, these process media are returned to a useful purpose.

Returning used raw materials and products to the economic cycle is an important building block for increasing resource efficiency, conserving natural resources and ultimately securing our future.