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Textile Effluent

Textile Effluent

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Published by: argenteves on Sep 04, 2009
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Textile Effluent Treatment – A Solutionto the Environmental PollutionDr. Subrata Das
Textile Effluent Treatment – A Solutionto the Environmental Pollution
Dr. Subrata DasE-mail: drsubratadas2000@gmail.com
Our biosphere is under constant threat from continuing environmental pollution. Impact on its atmosphere,hydrosphere and lithosphere by anthropogenic activities can not be ignored. Man made activities on water bydomestic, industrial, agriculture, shipping, radio-active, aquaculture wastes; on air by industrial pollutants,mobile combustion, burning of fuels, agricultural activities, ionization radiation, cosmic radiation, suspendedparticulate matter; and on land by domestic wastes, industrial waste, agricultural chemicals and fertilizers,acid rain, animal waste have negative influence over biotic and abiotic components on different natural eco-systems. Some of the recent environmental issues include green house effect, loss in bio-diversity, rising of sea level, abnormal climatic change and ozone layer depletion etc.In recent years, different approaches have been discussed to tackle man made environmental hazards. Cleantechnology, eco-mark and green chemistry are some of the most highlighted practices in preventing and or reducing the adverse effect on our surroundings.Among many engineering disciplines – Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering etc.,Textile Engineering has a direct connection with environmental aspects to be explicitly and abundantlyconsidered. The main reason is that the textile industry plays an important role in the economy of the countrylike India and it accounts for around one third of total export. Out of various activities in textile industry,chemical processing contributes about 70% of pollution. It is well known that cotton mills consume largevolume of water for various processes such as sizing, desizing, scouring, bleaching, mercerization, dyeing,printing, finishing and ultimately washing. Due to the nature of various chemical processing of textiles, largevolumes of waste water with numerous pollutants are discharged. Since these streams of water affect theaquatic eco-system in number of ways such as depleting the dissolved oxygen content or settlement of suspended substances in anaerobic condition, a special attention needs to be paid. Thus a study on differentmeasures which can be adopted to treat the waste water discharged from textile chemical processingindustries to protect and safeguard our surroundings from possible pollution problem has been the focus pointof many recent investigations. This communication highlights such studies carried out in the area of textileeffluent treatment.
Sources and Causes of Generation of Textile Effluent
Textile industry involves wide range of raw materials, machineries and processes to engineer the requiredshape and properties of the final product. Waste stream generated in this industry is essentially based onwater-based effluent generated in the various activities of wet processing of textiles. The main cause of generation of this effluent is the use of huge volume of water either in the actual chemical processing or during re-processing in preparatory, dyeing, printing and finishing. In fact, in a practical estimate, it has beenfound that 45% material in preparatory processing, 33% in dyeing and 22% are re-processed in finishing [1]. But where is the real problem? The fact is that the effluent generated in different steps is well beyond thestandard and thus it is highly polluted and dangerous. This is demonstrated in Table 1.
Table 1. Properties of Waste Water from Textile Chemical ProcessingProperty Standard Cotton Synthetic Wool
pH 5.5 9.0 8-12 7-9 3-10BOD, mg/l, 5 days 30-350 150-750 150-200 5000 8000COD, mg/l, day 250 200-2400 400-650 10,000 20,000TDS, mg/l 2100 2100-7700 1060-1080 10,000 –13,000
Categorization of Waste Generated in Textile Industry:
Textile waste is broadly classified into four categories, each of having characteristics that demand differentpollution prevention and treatment approaches. Such categories are discussed in the following sections:1. Hard to Treat WastesThis category of waste includes those that are persistent, resist treatment, or interfere with the operation of waste treatment facilities. Non-biodegradable organic or inorganic materials are the chief sources of wastes,which contain colour, metals, phenols, certain surfactants, toxic organic compounds, pesticides andphosphates. The chief sources are:
Colour & metal
dyeing operation
preparatory processes and dyeing
Non-biodegradable organic materials
surfactantsSince these types of textile wastes are difficult to treat, the identification and elimination of their sources arethe best possible ways to tackle the problem. Some of the methods of prevention are chemical or processsubstitution, process control and optimization, recycle/reuse and better work practices.2. Hazardous or Toxic WastesThese wastes are a subgroup of hard to treat wastes. But, owing to their substantial impact on theenvironment, they are treated as a separate class. In textiles, hazardous or toxic wastes include metals,chlorinated solvents, non-biodegradable or volatile organic materials. Some of these materials often are usedfor non-process applications such as machine cleaning.3. High Volume WastesLarge volume of wastes is sometimes a problem for the textile processing units. Most common large volumewastes include:
High volume of waste water 
Wash water from preparation and continuous dyeing processes and alkaline wastes from preparatoryprocesses
Batch dye waste containing large amounts of salt, acid or alkaliThese wastes sometimes can be reduced by recycle or reuse as well as by process and equipmentmodification.4. Dispersible Wastes:The following operations in textile industry generate highly dispersible waste:
Waste stream from continuous operation (e.g. preparatory, dyeing, printing and finishing)
Print paste (printing screen, squeeze and drum cleaning)
Lint (preparatory, dyeing and washing operations)
Foam from coating operations
Solvents from machine cleaning
Still bottoms from solvent recovery (dry cleaning operation)
Batch dumps of unused processing (finishing mixes)

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