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C. VISVANATHAN1, S. KUMAR1 , ARCHITRANDI PRIAMBODO1 AND S. VIGNESWARAN2 1 Asian Institute of Technology, School of Environment, Resources and Development, PO Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand Fax (66-2) 524-5439. Email:

Faculty of Engineering, Environmental Engineering Group, University of Technology, Sydney, PO BOX 123 Broadway, NSW 2007 Australia.

The textile industry is a major revenue generator, in many Asian countries, including Thailand. Negative impacts on the environment of textile industry are due to the discharge of pollutants and the consumption of water and energy. However, the status of energy use and pollution generated in textile industry in Thailand is not known. This paper presents the results of a study undertaken to obtain the current status of energy and environmental parameters from textile manufacturing factories in Thailand, such as, specific energy cost, water consumption, and wastewater load and its characteristics. The energy and environment status during 1996-1998 along with other relevant information were obtained by means of a questionnaire survey, by visiting factories and from energy audit reports. The survey findings on energy consumption show that range of specific fuel consumption in spinning, weaving and printing mills are relatively narrow indicating that these factories consume fuel in a similar manner, while the variation is fairly large in other types of mills. The variation of fuel cost is found to be similar to that of the specific fuel consumption. The water consumption trend in various textile sectors shows that man-made fiber, weaving, and printing mills have a relatively low specific water consumption as compared to other categories of mills. Similar observations were noted for the wastewater discharge. The data on wastewater characteristics after treatment, namely, biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solid (TSS) have also been presented.



The textile industry is one of the major contributors to many Asian economies and one of the main revenue-generating sectors. In Thailand, since the mid-eighties, textile and clothes have been the major export items. It is estimated that in 1995-96, there were about 5000 textile mills in Thailand, of which eighty percent was in the small and medium scale industries category [4]. The share of the textile sector to the overall gross domestic product (GDP) increased from about 148 billion Baht in 1991 to about 240 billion Baht in 1996. The fraction of GDP from the textile sector to national GDP during 1991-1996 has been relatively constant, at slightly above 5% [3]. The impacts on the environment by textile industry have been recognised for some time, both in terms of the discharge of pollutants and of the consumption of water and energy. Many organisations have prepared guidelines for promoting energy efficiency and pollution prevention and control [6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. The current status of the energy use and pollution generated in the textile industry in Thailand is not available. A study was therefore initiated in 1999 to understand the energy and water consumption, and wastewater generation in the various sectors of the textile industry by conducting a survey of these factories in the country. The results of this study are detailed in the following sections.




The survey was conducted by distributing questionnaires to about 200 textile factories in and around Bangkok. The questionnaire was structured to elicit information from the factories on: type of products, production (yearly), energy consumption (fuel and electricity), water consumption, wastewater generated and their characteristics during three years (1996-1998). Twenty two factories responsed to the questionnaire and field visits to some of these factories were arranged. Additional data on energy consumption was obtained from energy audit reports based on energy audit conducted during 19961997 by the Department of Energy Development and Promotion (DEDP) [1,2] for ten factories. The responses were then categorised into the various energy and environment indicators, namely, the specific fuel and electricity consumption, specific fuel and electricity cost, specific water consumption, specific wastewater generated and liquid effluents (BOD, COD and TSS). Table 1 summarises the relevant definitions of energy, water and pollution indicators used in the study. The textile establishments included manmade fibers, spinning, weaving, dyeing and finishing, integrated textile mills and printing factories. The survey was conducted over a period of about eight months. The production data of the surveyed factories indicated that the responses had the following share of the total Thai production (in 1997): 31% of all man-made fibers, 13.4 % of all fabrics; and 7.1 % of all yarns. This indicates that the survey covers a substantial share of the textile industries in Thailand. Table 1. Energy, water and pollution indicators used in the study Energy and water Pollution 1. Specific wastewater generation : 1. Specific fuel consumption : Yearly wastewater generated /yearly Yearly fuel consumption/yearly production production 2. 3. Specific fuel cost : Yearly fuel cost/yearly production Specific electricity consumption Yearly electricity consumption/yearly production Specific electricity cost Yearly electricity cost/yearly production : a. b. 4. : Liquid Effluent concentration (mg/L) Specific liquid effluent (kg/ton of product) 2. Liquid Effluent: TSS : BOD, COD and


Specific water consumption : Yearly water consumption/yearly production Survey Results and Conclusion


3.1 Energy Table 2 gives the range of specific energy consumption and specific energy cost, for both fuel and electricity based on the survey data and energy audit report of each factory in the


various sector along with their individual production data. The dyeing and finishing mills were found to have the highest maximum specific fuel consumption, followed by integrated textile mills. The printing, spinning and weaving mills have a very narrow range of specific fuel consumption indicating that these factories consume energy in similar manner, while variation is fairly large in the other type of mills. The variation of fuel cost is found to be similar to the specific fuel consumption range. The range of specific electricity consumption in weaving mills observed from the survey is very small, at about 5.7-5.8 MWh/ton of product while that of dyeing and finishing mills is quite significant, at about 0.28-12.6 MWh/ton of product. This is also reflected in the range of specific electricity cost. The maximum specific electricity cost in printing, integrated and man-made fiber mills is about 2.5 to almost 5 times higher than the minimum, while in the spinning and the dyeing mills, it is about 15 to 27 times higher. Table 2. Specific energy consumption and specific energy cost from survey of the Thai textile industry Category Specific fuel Specific Specific fuel Specific consumption electricity cost electricity (GJ/ton of consumption (Baht*/ton of cost product) (MWh/ton of product) (Baht/ton of product) product) Man-made 1.7 - 9.8 0.6 - 2.9 320 - 1726 990 - 4783 fiber Spinning 0.14 - 0.73 0.55 - 7.3 12 - 34 935 - 14293 Weaving 2.2 - 2.5 5.7 - 5.8 278 - 442 8890 - 9566 Dyeing and 14.3 - 63.9 0.28 -12.6 1429 - 8071 809 - 21615 finishing Integrated 25.8 - 49.9 0.37 - 1.2 3305 - 5867 2031 - 5097 mills Printing 0.26 - 3.2 0.8 - 2 50 697 867 - 2375 *1 US$ = 37.4 Baht (July,1999) 3.2 Water consumption and wastewater generated Table 3 presents the range of specific water and specific wastewater generated estimated based on the survey. The dyeing and finishing mills were further classified according to type of products of the mills: yarn only, fabric only and yarn and fabric. The range of specific water consumption depends on the type of establishments. The largest variation was found in dyeing and finishing mills (73 167 m3/ton of product) followed by integrated, printing, and man-made fiber respectively. Man-made fiber, weaving and printing mills have relatively low specific water consumption as compared to other categories of mills. For the weaving mill, for which data of only one factory is available, the specific water consumption (10.3m3/ton of product) is within the range of the US EPA norms (0.8-140.1 m3 water consumed/ton of product) [8]. For dyeing and finishing mills, the specific water consumption between the survey (73.1-167 m3/ton of product) is, in general, and the norms (5-507.9 m3/ton of product) [8]. For printing mills, the comparison with the norms established by NITRA [6] shows that the minimum and maximum specific water consumption are lower than their guidelines (40-100 m3/ton of product).


The smallest range of specific wastewater generated is observed in man-made fiber mills at about 2.7-27.4 m3/ton of fiber. Establishments which have high maximum specific wastewater generated are the integrated textile mills at about 183.3 m3/ton of product and dyeing and finishing sector at about 67-116.7 m3/ton of product. The maximum specific wastewater generated in man-made fiber mills (at about 27.4 m3/ton of product) is much lower than the minimum value of WHO standard (100-125 m3/ton of product) [10]. The maximum specific wastewater generated in other type of mills is in integrated textile mills, at about 183 m3/ton of product. This value is lower than the WHO standard [10] which is 265 m3/ton of product. However, this observation may be valid only if these mills use cotton as the raw material. Compared with the standards given by the World Bank [9], the maximum specific wastewater generated in man-made fiber and printing mills (at about 27.4 and 8 m3/ton respectively) are lower than the minimum standard of 100 m3/ton of product. The wastewater generated from some integrated textile and dyeing and finishing mills is higher (about 10-15%) than that presented by World Bank [9]. Table 3. Specific water consumption and specific wastewater generated from survey of Thai textile industry Category Specific water Specific wastewater consumption generated (m3/ton of product) (m3/ton of product) Man-made fiber 4.4 - 30.7 2.7 - 27.4 Dyeing Yarn 114.8 - 180 115 - 166 and Fabric 125 - 160 116 - 140 finishing Yarn+Fabric 73.1 - 167 67 - 167 Integrated mills Printing 108 183 11.9 - 62.5 108 - 183 10.7 - 62.5

3.3 Liquid effluents after treatment The liquid effluent data after treatment of some man-made fiber, dyeing and finishing integrated and printing mills are tabulated in Table 3. A comparison of the textile effluent and the standard for discharge of textile wastewater into receiving waters in Thailand shows that the liquid effluent after treatment in Thai textile sector is within the acceptable range of the effluent discharge standards. Table 3. Range of liquid effluent after treatment in Thai textile industry BOD COD TSS Type of mills mg/L kg/ton mg/L kg/ton mg/L kg/ton Man-made 18.2 0.5 32.8 - 67 0.18 - 0.9 29.2 0.8 fiber Dyeing and 6.6 - 33 0.05 -3.85 84 - 152.7 0.34 - 5 19.9 - 22 0.2 - 3 finishing Integrated 15 1.6 74 8 11 1.2 textile mills Printing 20-60 0.16 - 0.5 None None 27 - 100 0.2 - 0.8 Thai 6.6-60 None 120-400 None 6-100 None standard[5]


Dyeing and finishing, and printing mills have higher values of BOD, COD and TSS level compared to other type of mills. The BOD level in dyeing and finishing mills varies significantly. The variation of BOD and COD level in Thai textile mills is within the acceptable range of the effluent discharge to receiving waters in Thailand [5]. The maximum value of BOD level in the printing mill is the same as that of the Thai standard. 4. Acknowledgement

We are grateful to University Technology, Sydney (UTS) Australia, for sponsoring this work. We are also grateful to industries who participated in the survey Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP), Department of Energy Development and Promotion (DEDP) and Federation of Thai Industries who helped in conducting this study. Thanks are also expressed to the project Small and Medium Scale Industries (SMIs) in Asia: Energy, Environment and Climate Interrelations funded by Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida). References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Department of Energy Development and Promotion. Energy Audit Report of Thai Textile Industry 1996 (in Thai) ( Bangkok, Thailand, 1997). Department of Energy Development and Promotion. Energy Audit Report of Thai Textile Industry 1997 (in Thai) (Bangkok, Thailand, 1998). Department of Industrial Promotion. Thai Textile Statistics 1997 (Bangkok, Thailand, 1998). Federation of Thai Industries. Case study: Cleaner Technology, Project on Promotion of Cleaner Technology in Thai Industry (Bangkok, Thailand, 1998). Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. Laws and Standards on Pollution Control in Thailand, 4th Edition (Bangkok, Thailand, 1997). Northern India Textile Research Association (NITRA). Norms for the Textile Industry (Ghaizabad, India, 1989). On behalf of Textile Research Association at Bombay, Ahmadabad and Coimbatore, India. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Textile Industry and the Environment (Paris, France, 1993) US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Development Document for Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Textile Mills, Environmental Pollution Control in Textile Processing Industry (Washington DC, USA, 1979). World Bank. Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook-Part III, textile Industry (1998).

7. 8.


10. World Health Organization (WHO). Environmental Technology Series: Assessment of Sources of Air, Water and Land Pollution (Geneva, Switzerland, 1993).