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More on pollution caused by textiles

Dec 2,2014

Today I found more profound reason why we should be focussing on pollution by textile
industries at all. A new review on textile effluent treatment was found by. Some of those reasons
are as follows:
1. Why the color of dye in effluent is harmful at all: Because this colored water has higher
absorption than uncolored light. This water does not allow light to pass through it. This prevents
aquatic lives from performing photosynthesis and many more catabolic prcesses. So no way a
discharged water should bear the color.
2. Dye as such is not biodegradable and remains in the system for long and thus results in
accumulation of waste. Some of the metal complex dyes are toxic in nature.
3. Textile wet processes are energy and water intensive processes.
Now I would discuss process by process to tell why that particular process is problematic in

Why the process of esizing polluting at all? In the desizing process starch applied on the yarns is
removed. This starch when cleaved to glucose by mineral acids or by enzymytic process results in
high B.O.D. of the effluent.
Okay. So what way this can be reduced?
1)convert starch to CO2 and H2O by H2O2 or some other oxidising agent.
2)Ultra or nano-filtration.
3) Elecro-oxidation

What are the potential problems that may becaused by bleaching? Bleaching uses hypochlorite
which is not environmenly safe.
SO alternatives for the hpochlorites are:
1.Use of peracetic acid which during bleaching decomposes to acetic acid and
2. Some of the electochemical approaches have been suggested on which bleaching and
mercerisation are carried out simultaneously.

What problems are caused by mercerisation? It causes high alkalinity of discharged water due to
use of Sodium Hydroxide(NaOH). And this alkalinity is a problem because most biological lifes

are sustained at near neutral pH. Any change in pH due to alkalinity or basicity will affect the
aquatic life.
So what the harmful effect of mercerisation can be reduced.
1) Reduce the concentration of the NaOH solution by membrane filtration techniques which is
obviously expensive.

Why dyeing is a problem has already been stated at the beginning of this article.
So we come directly to methods in which this can be prevented:
1. Use of low M:L ratios
2. Use of reducing agent with a reducing sugar or elecrochmical reduction.
3. Change the dye-fixating agent for reducing pollution load.
4. Use natural dyes.

Neutralisation is used where alkaline bath has been used like washing or bleaching. The generally
used acid is acetic acid.
Formic acid instead of acetic acid has been suggested as a new way to reduce BOD and water

Two major pollutants discharged from printing are kerosene and urea. Their load can be reduced
in the foloowing way:
1. Recycling of kerosene.
2. Replace urea with other chemicals.
3. Screen printing or inkjet printing is also a good proposition for reducting ollution load but they
are little of aesthetic value.

Problems with finishing are:
1. Release of formalehyde from fabric which is carcinogenic in nature.
2. Formaldehyde finishes are enrgy intensive.
Ways to reduce pollution are:

1. Poly carboxylic acid which are alternative to formaldehyde finishes.

2. Finding natural extracts ehich can be used as an alternative to anti-bacterial finishes.