Effect of Pollution on Sustainability of Textile Industry
Textile is a necessary requirement of our daily life. It will always be a need and thus requires unhindered production to meet the demand. Like many industries, textile industry is causing huge damage to the environment. Textile industry has high water consumption and waste water production rate. The presence of list long harmful pollutants in waste water is causing large scale water pollution. Environmentalists have clearly been calling out textile industries for the extent of ecological damage being done in each step of production via waste water production, water body pollution and air pollution. With untreated water, a wide range of toxic chemicals are released into the environment, including azo dyes, soda, hydrocarbons and heavy metals. These are hazardous for our environment in general and aquatic life in particular. Considering this, sustainable approach is encouraged to follow for a safer future.
Textile production and waste production:
The textile industry is one of the most extensive and complex industrial chains in the manufacturing industry. The creation of a textile necessitates several mechanical stages. Spinning, knitting, and weaving are examples of processing and garment manufacturing, which appear to be on the rise insulated from wet treatment processes such as sizing, desizing, scouring, bleaching, and cleaning. Mercerizing, dyeing, printing, and finishing are all terms used to describe the processes of mercerizing, dyeing, printing, operations, but there is a strong interdependence between them between dry and successive wet processes treatments. The textile industry generates a diverse range of emissions a wide range of pollutants from all stages of the fibre, fabric, and garment processing production.
Water, solid waste, air pollution, and noise pollution are examples of these. The textile industry’s main environmental concern is the amount of water discharged and the chemical load it carries. The textile industry uses a lot of water. Throughout the manufacturing process, water is used to clean the raw materials as well as for many flushing steps. 1 kg of textile requires approximately 200 L of water to produce. Water is primarily used for (a) applying chemicals to textiles and (b) rinsing manufactured textiles.
The amount of water consumed by different types of fabrics varies by industry, depending on the dyeing process and the type of fabric produced. In fact, it has been discovered that 38 percent of water is used in the bleaching process, 16 percent in dyeing, 8 percent in printing, 14 percent in boilers, and 24 percent for other uses. Significant amounts of polluted water are released as a result of various processes. The truth is that the water released after the production of textiles exceeds the standard and contains a high concentration of dyes and other chemicals that are harmful to the environment.
Over the last 50-75 years, there has been an increasing effort to arrange manufacturing processes in such a way that they cause minimal environmental damage. At the same time, these efforts are aimed at developing appropriate wastewater treatment technologies and establishing an appropriate relationship between regulators and industry. To reduce the amount of waste water generated, a systematic approach to waste reduction at the source must be implemented.
The value of water resources is universally recognized, and the ability to manage available water in the best interests of the people determines the quality of life. Textile manufacturing processes, particularly wet treatments and finishing processes of textile materials (finishing, dyeing, printing, and so on), are large consumers of high-quality water. Significant amounts of polluted water are released as a result of these various processes. Water technologists and textile industry experts must work together to reduce water consumption in the industry. While user industries strive to reduce water consumption, water technologists should take an integrated approach to treating and recycling water in the industry.
End-of-pipe technologies are used for wastewater treatment and include the sequential application of a set of methods, such as coagulation / flocculation, flotation, adsorption, evaporation, oxidation, combustion, membrane use, and so on, that have been tailored to the specific needs of a textile plant. Because of the wide range of textile processes and products, it is impossible to develop a realistic concept for effective wastewater treatment without first conducting a thorough examination of the actual situation in the textile plant. Characterization of textile process effluent streams is critical for developing water treatment and reuse strategies. To maximize treatment and reuse options, textile industry waste streams should be considered separately. When the characteristics of the individual streams are known, it is possible to determine which streams should be combined to improve treatability and increase reuse options. It is critical to investigate all aspects of reducing textile industry emissions and waste products because doing so will result not only in improved environmental performance, but also in significant savings for individual textile companies.
Climate change and textile:
Every year, the textile industry emits between 1.22 and 2.93 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As a result, according to some estimates, the textile life cycle (including laundering) accounts for 6.7 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Every year, that’s the equivalent of every person on the planet flying 2,500 miles. The problem is only going to get worse, as both textile production and consumption are skyrocketing.
The volume of textile production isn’t the only issue. It is also important to consider the materials used to make the clothes.
Unfortunately, the use of non-renewable fabrics is increasing.
Since 2000, the amount of polyester in our clothing has more than doubled, and petroleum now accounts for more than half of all global fiber production. Every year, approximately 342 million barrels of oil are required to meet demand for plastic-based fibers. When those clothes are washed or discarded, they contribute to even more pollution. Disintegration of synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic accounts for between 20% and 35% of all microplastics in the marine environment.
Another fiber that is becoming more popular is viscose, which is derived from wood pulp. However, this is also a problem: 150 million trees are cut down each year to produce the wood pulp needed to make viscose. With 138 million acres of forest lost over the last two decades, a fiber based on tree felling does not appear to be sustainable.
Moreover, there is an extensive use of chemicals in textile industry. In the textile industry, approximately 2000 different types of chemicals are used, ranging from dyes to transfer agents. Water, an elixir that is becoming increasingly scarce, is also becoming contaminated as a result of chemical treatments used on textiles, which has a long-term impact on the environment. The effluent water, its increased pH, and discharges from dyes, de-foamers, bleaches, and other strong chemicals pollute the environment, raise the temperature, and eventually cause global warming.
According to an industrial report, more than 1 million tons of textile are discarded each year, of which 50% are recyclable. They are primarily from the textile and yarn sectors, as well as the garment manufacturing industries. These fabrics necessitate the use of landfill space. Synthetic fiber textiles do not disintegrate quickly. Woollen clothes emit gases such as methane when they decompose, contributing to global warming.
Water based usage in textiles:
Wet textile treatment comprises a variety of chemical applications on the fibres or fabric, such as desizing, prewashing, mercerizing, dyeing, printing, and so on. When size agents are removed from woven fabric during desizing, a significant amount of residue is left in the waste water. During the degradation process, these compounds have a high demand for oxygen. On completed fabrics, prewashing is performed. Some fibres are bleached before dyeing to increase the efficiency of the process. The chlorine employed in this method may produce harmful organo-chlorine chemicals.
Importance of WWT in textile industry:
Waste water derived from chemically treated textiles must be treated by textile effluent treatment, or Caustic recovery plants for textile industry. Impurities in dyes and pigments are reduced by using chrome mordant dyeing and restricting the emission of copper, chromium, and nickel into water. Chlorine-containing dyeing carriers should be avoided. Alternative bleaching agents that are less or not toxic can be employed.
What is sustainability?
According to twi-global, Sustainability is the ability to exist and develop without depleting natural resources for the future.
The United Nations defined sustainable development as development that fulfils the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. There are three main dimensions of sustainability including environment, social and economic. With the going pace of climate change and threats imposed by it, sustainable solutions and its evaluation is crucial to industries, organizations, governments and end users. These stakeholders have set goals to be achieved and a continuous assessment is required for that.
The textile industry has been revolutionizing with Caustic Recovery Plant for Textile Effluents, Wastewater Recovery, etc. and devising ways to sustainability as the need of hour. Industry is no longer restricted to use of organic materials or efficient processes. Large scale water and energy consumption along with chemicals is how most textile industry is working. The pollution and imbalance caused is worrisome. In such a situation, we are in dire need of new and sustainable ways and methods for production purposes. Continuous monitoring, adaptations and mitigation techniques should be in que for a sustainable ecosystem. The outcome of sustainable fashion is to maintain a balanced and flourishing environment for communities. Besides education, practical ways to contribute in it could be; reducing waste production, improving local production to make it long lasting, and waste water treatment etc.
Textile companies worldwide are dynamically contributing to pollution-reduction practices such as Effluent treatment plants, and Caustic Soda Recovery Plant, and setting up emission targets for controlling climate change.
Textile industry is required to monitor sustainability at each step of its production. As a whole, it can be outlined to include the following measures:
- Utilization of natural resources water and energy in production processes.
- Availability of raw materials which are sustainable in the long-run
- Handling of chemicals in processes like dyeing and coating
- Disposal and treatment of waste material
- Adherence to guidelines to eliminate health-risks of workers, as well as consumers
- Animal cruelty norms in the procurement of wool, silk, fur, etc.
Cotton, wool, synthetic fibres, synthetic dyes, chemicals, and process water are among the major impute raw materials in this industry, and all of these inputs have diversified the textile industry’s economic importance. The textile industries can be divided into two major processes based on fibre production: dry and wet fabric processes. Solid wastes are generated primarily in dry processing, whereas liquid wastes are generated primarily in wet processing steps.
Sizing, desizing, scouring, bleaching, mercerizing, dying, finishing, and printing are all examples of wet fabric processing. Potable water, various chemicals and dyes used during fibre formation, and wastewater discharge from wet processing steps are all affected by the operations.
Because of the increased use of clean water, dyes, and chemicals in various wet processing unit operations, this process is the primary source of contaminated water containing dyes and other pollutants. Toxic pollutants such as dyes, chrome, NaOH, starch, acid, and others are found in wastewater discharged by the textile industry.
A wide range of treatment technologies have been introduced including; biological, chemical, physical or combined, to treat waste water effluents..
Biological methods involve aerobic, anaerobic, and microbial biomass. Chemical oxidation, Fenton reagent, photo catalysis are some chemical methods. Physiochemical procedures include coagulation, filtration, ion exchange, reverse osmosis and adsorption etc.
Economic visibility and cost analysis are also important factors to consider when considering wastewater treatment methods. The type of textile factory, the technology for water pollution control, and regional distribution are all major factors that influence cost analysis.
According to the findings, the integrated microfilter (MF)-Nano filter (NF)-advanced oxidation process is less expensive than other treatment methods. In the future, there will be a need to conduct research based on the cost of treatment methods such as photocatalyst, advanced oxidation processes (AOP), integrated treatment methods such as biological with chemical, biological with physical, and chemical with physical, and MFC used for real wastewater effluent from industry, such as textile.
To reduce water pollution, we need to create appropriate wastewater treatment systems like zld water treatment plants, Effluent Recycling Systems, Caustic Soda Recovery System, etc. that remove effluents from textile factory wastewater. In terms of the environment, approved technologies must be used to treat textile industry effluent. Various technologies have been observed to remove dyes from water in textile factories. Wastewater treatment plants such as Caustic Recovery System, etc. are well designed by integrating various technologies, such as physical with chemical, biological with chemical, and physical with biological methods, depending on the type and amount of pollutant loading. Because of the expense and clogging, the impact membrane filtration method is limited in its application of dye removal, whereas the adsorption approach is preferred. Because of the low formation of byproducts such as solid waste, low labour expenses, and complete mineralization of dyes. The biological treatment method outperforms the chemical treatment method. Before introducing the wastewater to the microbial primary treatment, chemical technique pretreatment was necessary to lessen the load on the microbiological and achieve excellent output.
Textile industry and water treatment:
In general, textile industry wastewater can be handled in two ways: with or without stream separation. Water recovery without segregation is possible in textile wastewater treatment, but this method is not viable for salt recovery. Both salt and water may be easily recovered from effluent streams via segregation. When effluent streams are subjected to modern water treatment processes, the level of hazardous contaminants is lowered, and water and salts may be recovered.
Based on contaminants, textile effluent streams are divided into two types: (1) highly polluting effluent streams and (2) low-polluting effluent streams.
Normally, highly polluting effluent streams contain a small amount of spent dye bath (10% of total effluent discharge), which must be separated and treated separately. Low-polluting effluent streams contain a large amount of wash water (90 percent of total effluent discharge), which can be treated by primary, secondary, or tertiary treatment to meet severe regulatory standards and reused in industry for appropriate activities. The treated water is further filtered using RO before reuse.
TWW treatment for textile effluent treatment, is divided into three stages: primary, secondary, and tertiary. For the treatment of TWW, conventional treatment procedures such as adsorption, coagulation, membrane separation, flotation, ozonation, ion exchange, evaporation, and crystallization have been widely used. Water can be recovered from textile effluents with Effluent recycling plants, and possibly reused in the manufacturing process using advanced wastewater treatment. AWT technologies promote the development of methods that reduce the spread and creation of hazardous chemicals in aquatic environments. The implementation of appropriate AWT techniques in textile industry is crucial for sustainable textile industry to flourish.
Why we need sustainable development in textile industry:
Given the extent of the textile industry, one of the largest in the world, sustainability is not only an important idea, but organizations have the potential to make a significant environmental, economic, and social effect.
The concept of sustainability is frequently illustrated by the concept of reduce, reuse, and recycle, which encourages individuals and businesses to reduce their consumption of resources such as water, land, and oil; reuse products such as a refillable water bottle; and recycle materials such as paper, glass, and aluminum.
The textile sector has various reasons to prioritize sustainability, including lower prices, environmental preservation, and long-term customer support for eco-friendly techniques.
Climate change is far too large a problem to be readily remedied. Governments, corporations, and individuals should all work together to reduce the environmental impact of global warming conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What are the environmental issues in textile industry?
Water, air, and solid waste contamination are the main environmental issues brought on by the textile sector.
2) What are some factors that are causing pollution in the textiles industry?
According to some studies, the textile industry is primarily responsible for the dyeing and finishing products that cause roughly 20% of the water pollution. Additionally, natural fibres (particularly cotton) are grown using fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, which pollute aquifers by penetrating the soil.
3) How does sustainability relate to the textiles industry?
Due to the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, the life cycle of these textiles made of plastic has a considerable influence on the environment and climate. With synthetic fibre production accounting for around 1% of crude oil production, the textile industry is a growing contributor to the climate catastrophe.
4) Why is sustainability an issue in the textiles industry?
Due to the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, these plastic-based textiles have a substantial effect on the environment and climate during their entire life cycle. Due to the creation of synthetic fibres using around 1% of crude oil, the textile industry is a growing contributor to the climate catastrophe.
5) How can we improve textile industry?
- Conducting Learning Work.
- Hourly Performance Testing.
- Production Research and Development.
- Tracking Systems like 5S and Kaizen. 5S. Kaizen.
- Select the correct line format.
- Reduce Time Line.
- Improve Line Ratings.
- Use Utilities.
6) What is water pollution in textile industry?
With 20% of the world’s wastewater produced by the fashion sector alone, textile dyeing is the second-largest global polluter of freshwater. This is due to the fact that textile manufacturing uses a lot of water, and the wastewater that results in highly contaminated outflow.