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Article · April 2008



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_il!i.t lJ.J l!JlI



Md. Mahbubul Haque, Ph.D.


Bangladesh is heavilY involved in

textile pioduction and .*pot't' A lot of

textile mills

were established in the

country mostly

in last two

in and around Dhaka city

decades. A large number of

these mills generate and discharge waste

waters. It was repofied by the various

organization and monitoring authority that the pollution ofthe rivers and canals

in and around Dhaka is well above their

acceptable level. Various agencies are trying to safeguard the clean environ-

ment, Bangladesh Government has

already issued various forms of warning

and red alerts to the concemed industries.

A lot of textile wet processing industries

have already installed effluent treatment

silk etc. (ii) Synthetic fiber- man made

i fiber that are produced from petroleum

product. Dyeing

hb.rs u.e

of the above mentioned

somewhat diflerent and each of

them requires a dillerent class of dye'

Different dyestulfs require dillerent

types of chemicals and auxiliaries .to

apply them into the labric or. texltle^

product. As a result the characterlstlcs 01

ihe textile waste water vary significantly.

Due to variation of characteristics. textile

waste water requires various types of

techniques to treat them.

Description of Textile Indu-

stries Polluting Environment

Textile wet Processing

Plants of

Bangladesh may be classed as (i) Knit

dyeing units, (ii) Woven dyeing units,


nenim plants, (iv) Printing units, and

(v) Garments washing units.


Ifuit dyeing industries are one ofthe

most highly environment polluting

textile industries in Bangladesh. These

are mainly


engaged in processing export

knit fabrics. Different types of

textile products require different

methods of treatment procedure. The

treatment procedure and machines of

woven fabric dyeing and knit fabric

dyeing are quite different. This is

because knit fabrics are soft and require gentle handling while woven fabrics are




stiffer and may be subjected to

treatment options' For this

knit fabrics are dyed in winch

types of dyeing machine where treatment

iiiar:ried out in averyhigh M:Lratio like

1:150-200. It was found in various

studies that nearly 150 to 200 liters of

plants (ETP) and many of them are at

various stages of installing ETP's.

There are various tYPes of textile

wet processing plants e.g. (i) the woven

dyeing plants and (ii) knit dyeing plants.

The technique for dyeing of textile


mainly depends on the type of

fiber. Some widely used fiber that are

produced and exported

includes Cotton,

from Bangladesh

wool, silk, linen,

polyester, nylon, viscose, acrylics etc.

These fibers can also be classed into two

main slasses e.g. (i) Natural fiber-those producednaturally e.g. cotton, jute, wool

Water quality







Oi1 & Grease












bY the DePa rtment of Environment, Government of Bangladesh)

ts CoffaX

April 2008


water is required to dye one kg of knitted goods. Considering all the factors it was

found that a knitting factory of 10 ton

production capacity generates nearly 100

to I 50 M of waters per hour. However all

the water mentioned above are not

equally har:rnful. Some are very severely

polluted while some are mildly polluted.

On average, it was found that 50% of

waters are polluted and needs to be treated and the rest of the water can

discharged directly or subjected to very mild treatment. Thus a general guide line

for knit dyeing is that for a factory of 10

ton dyeing capacity may require efluent treatment plant of 40 60 M /hr treatment capacity.

Woven Dyeing Units

Woven dyed fabric is dyed in a

different way than knitted fabrics. The

volume of waste water generated from a

woven dyeing factory is very low in

comparison to knit dyeing process. Aparl

from this the characteristics of woven

dyeing plants are different from those of

plants. Before weaving,


strength of warp yarns. The main

knit dyeing

is caried out to increase the

component of sizing is Starch. Wet

process starts with desizing to remove

the starch and other sizing agents from

the fabric otherwise subsequent process

and dyeing will not be perfect. The

discharge from a

desizing unit is highly

polluted. Some of the pollutants of

woven dyeing units are as follows:

Starch and other sizing materials,

unfixed dyes, poor washing-off of dyes,

machine cleaning wastes during starl-up,

shut-down and changes

style, salts and alkalies etc. Generally

woven dyeing is carrie dout at a very low m:l ratio which could be as low as 1:5 (for continuous dyeing) hence the quantity of

waste water is very low but the level of toxicity ofthe effluent is very high.

Denim Plants

Denim plants are particularly

weaving plants and produce denim

fabrics. In denim plant dyeing and sizing is carried out on the walp yams and after

of color and

weaving various types of


operations are carried out. The effluent discharged from sizing and dyeing units are highly polluted as compared to that of

all other wet processing plants and cause

substantial impact on the environment.

Off course

relatively lower than that of knit dyeing.

the volume of effluent is

The characteristics of dyed effluent of

the denim is somewhat different from

that ofknit dyeing plants as because vat

dyes are used for denim plant while

reactive and dispersed dyes are used for dyeing knit goods, however the quantity

of generated effluent is extremely low



Pollutants associated with printing

include suspended solids, solvents,

foam, color and metals, and in general,

large volumes of water are consumed

during the washing-off stages. The main

areas of environmental pollution of

textile printing includes dyes containing

metals, objectionable surfactants, air

emissions, water from washing the print

blanket, leftover print paste, excess paste from drums, screens and pipes, use of

urea as this increases the nitrogen in the

effluent. Like denim the quantity of

effluent of textile printing industry is

very low but highly polluted. Garments Washing Units

At present there are a lot of gatment

washing plants which are operating in

Bangladesh. There are

types washing e.g. (i) notmal washing

basically two

and (ii)

denim washing. The denim

washing involves a lot of operations like


Possible pollutants in the waste water


Starch. waxes.

carboxymethyl cellulose.

polyvinyl alcohol


starch, glucose,


carboxymethyl cellulose,

polyvinyl alcohol,

desizing, dissolved solids fats and waxes NaOH, Waxes, grease Na,CO., Na,O,, SiO_, and fragments of cloth.


NaOCi, Cl^, NaOH,

H,O,, Acidi etc.


Various dyes, salts, alkalies, Acids, Na^S,

Na.S,O, and soap etc.


Traces ofstarch, tallow & different {inishing agent,

April 2008

desizing, enzyrne washing, finishing etc.

These can be achieved by chemical or mechanical methods. Process involves

use of volatile chemical. The pollution

loads from garments washing

plants are

not much but quantity

is large and

requires some sort treatment.

Important Pollutants

Various types oftoxicities are found in the textile wastewaters. However in order to monitor them Deparlment of Environment (DOE) has identified the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD),

Chemical Oxygen Demand(COD), Total

Suspended Solids (TSS), Total

Dissolved Solids (TDS), pH, Oils and

grease, color and temperature etc. are


harmful for environment. The

polluting parameters of other industries

will vary

to some extent. Pollutant

concentration in effluents for various

textile industries varies signihcantly.

Effl uent Treatment Methods

Effluent treatment is an imPortant subject from undergraduate to Ph.D. level students. Various philosophies,

thoughts and approaches were suggested

to deal with textile as well as other

effluents. Some of the important effluent

treatment steps are described below.

Waste water


lSmall 10

I L/ kg of cloth


Around 15

L/kg of cloth


L/ kg

of cloth




Very small

Nature of waste


High BOD and COD

High BOD, COD,

Suspended solids,

dissolved solids.

Strongly a1kaline, dark

colour, high BOD (30% of total)

Alkaline constitutes,

approx 5%ofBOD

Unfixed dye (5-40Yo),

Salts, fairly BOD (6 % of thetotal), high COD,

Dissolved solids. low

suspended solids, healy

metals a1kali, Oxidizing

and reducing agents,

organic acids Cationic

fixing agents etc.

Slightly alkaline,


Cotfti-ii tq


Effluent Segregation

The effluent generated from a textile

wet processing plant is of varying type

having different level of toxicity and

chemical characteristics. For example

the effluent characteristics of Scouring,

Bleaching and Dyeing and printing will

be quite

different from each other. One of


important task of any effluent

treatment approach would be to separate

them according to their level of toxicity.

The idea is that at first vigorous treatment

is carried out with the most polluted waters and at ceftain stage the less

polluted waters are added to the streams.

Offcourse the cost of chemicals is almost

same whether effluent treatment is

camied out together or separately, but it

the cost ofpower and capacity and cost of

motors and pumps makes a big differ-

ence. It can be summarize that from

economic point of view, it is better to

treat small

amount of highly toxic

effluent rather than a treating a large

amount less toxic effluent, because in the ,

latter case the capacity of motor and

pump would be higher and more

electricily will be required to run those

motors and pumps.

Therefore one of the

of eflluent treatment

important task

approach is to separate or segregate the

effluents according to their level of

toxicity. This result in a more effective

treatment system as a smaller volume of

waste water is treated (resulting in lower

capital and operating costs) and it allows for the use of specific treatment methods rather than trying finding one method to

treat a mixture of waste with different

characteristics. The segregated clean

streams can then be reused with little, or

no, treatment elsewhere in the factory.

Treatment Technolo gies

Effluent can be treated in a number

of different ways depending on the level of treatment required. These levels are known as preliminary primary, second-

ary and tertiary (or advanced).Three mechanisms for treatment can be divided

into three broad categories; physical, chemical and biological.

ETP manufacturers use these

mechanisms and processes

either fully or paftial1y in a effluent



Preliminary or Pretreatment

Removal of large solids such as rags

sticks, grit and grease that may damage


equipment or result in

problems. Preliminary treatment

consists of mainly (i) Screening which is

adopted in a effluent treatment plant to

solid wastes. and

Skimming - ro


relatively large


(ii) Equalization

remove grease & oil and homogenize and to remove some BOD & COD.

Primary Treatment

Primary treatment is intended for

of floating and settleable

suspended solids and


materials i.e.

chemical organic matter. Primary

treatment consists


of the following

A. Coagulation - to coagulate the suspended solid to coagulate

B. Flocculation - to flocculate by


C. Neutralizalion - to adjust the pH

between 6.5 to 8.5

D. Sedimentation to precipitate

small suspended solids

Al1 the above processes contribute to removal of substantial amount of all

the pol I uting pararneters.

Secondary Treatment

Secondary treatment is carried out to

removel biodegradable organic matters

which include removal of BOD and COD

& decomposition of organic matter.

Biological treatment can be aerobic and anaerobic.

Tertiary/Advanced Treatment

Since the effluent from the textile industry is complex and variable, it is

unlikely that a single Treatment technology will be suitable for

total effluent treatment. Tertiary

treatment includes removal of residual

suspended solids/ dlssolved solids. Most

of the eflluent treatment plants use the Adsorbents (granular activated carbon,

silica, clays, fly ash, synthetic ion-

exchange media, natural bio adsorbents, synthetic bio adsorbents). In Bangladesh

the following two types of filters are





Filtration-to removes TSS and

any other pollutants in the form

of par1icle. This filter is also

Name of the factory Type

the Concentration of pollutants present in the wastewater

TDS TSS oil& Colour Temo nH


6;;;. cil;

''' 'f


ND ND 9.39

ND ND 9.01


lac(ory BoD CoD


,pranr ;; L ;;/L ;;l

I useful to protect the Activated



Carbon Filter (ACF) from

overloading by pollutants such as

parliculates, organics.

B. Activated Carbon Filter-

Ahsan composire Knir dyeing 300 43r 22ro 82 'T;t-

Reedisha l(ritex Ltd. Knit dyeing 300 44e :33g ,, ,t


Fakhruddinn Textile Knit dyeing 450


Textile Knit




1000 3500 100 ND Dark ND


3500 100


ND 9-


Carbon adsorption is a'proven

process in tertiary treatment for the

processing biologically treated

wastewaters, and is one of the

many processes used in the advanced treatment of waste-

waters. TheACF is used to remove

relatively small quantities of


Grameen knirwear








600 1200

600 1200 -

1000 I

1000 I 0


Dark ND l0

Dark ND l0

Dark ND ll

600 60 9

KLrit dyeing 450 1000 J500 100

Epyllion Knit Ltd. Krit dyeing 450 t400 3500 200 60

Aboni Textiles Lrd. Knit dyeing 350 I 050 I 3500 200


Creenland garrnenls ltd. Knit dyeing 450 1000 4500 100 ND

Ha-Meem Denim Denim 850 2150 I -

Jamuna Denirn Ltd

Paftex denims

Sourc e : p ers o na I c omm unic atio n

t4O j5



Dark ND 6-9

350 20 :- <1000 35 g - -




Denim 1300 2456 5320 900 ND 7620 ND ND

640 l3l2 3633 305

, refractory orga-nics, as well as

inorganic such as sulfides and heavy nretals remaining in an

ND- Not done

otherwi se well -treated wastewater.

zo cott.di-ii

April 2008


Sludge Management &

Disposal Sludge disposal to separate the

sludge .from the thick sluny and then

dispose ofthe sludge as dried cake

Description of Important Treatment


S creening, E quulizution and Skimming

Screens are very simple materials

having iron bars in the form of square

grids. Effluent is allowed to pass through

large and coarse solid

the grid when

materials are arested by it allowing smaller particles and effluent to pass

through. In some several grids are use with diminishing grid sizes.

Equalization tank is a large chamber which is designed for retention time of 12

hours. This means if the rate effluent is

of the

equalization tank has to be 30 X 12 : 360

30 cubic metre then the capacity

cubic meters. The equalization tank is

specially built where air is blown by two

blowers altemately round the clock on

iontinuous basis. The purposes of

equalization are (i) to supply oxygen so

that DO level increases and (ii) to mix various types effluents and (iii) to reduce the temperature ofthe water. On the top surface of the equaliza-

tion tank there is a scrapper used to skim the oily substances.

C o agulutio n an d F lo ccalution

From the equalization tank the

effluent is taken to a small tank which is

also called flash mixing tank of small

flash-mixing tank

retention time. In the

coagulants like lime


Hydroxide) and flocculants like ferous

sulfate (FeSO ) are dosed. This is done

for coagulation and removal of the total dye particles. The basic idea ot- adding coagulant is to bring together all the suspended and dye particles so that they

can be precipitated out in the flash mixing tank and flocculation tank by

coagulation and flocculation mecha-

nism. The chemical reaction that occurs

in the coagulation and flocculation

process is shownbelow;

CaO+HO --+ Ca(OH).

The above reaction take place in

flash mixing tank when lime reacts with

water and we get calciurn hydroxide solution. This solution reacts with the

ferous sulfate solution, which as follows

Ca(OH) +FeSQ --+ CaSQ +Fe(O$.| + FeSQ (Unreacted) + Fe (OH), +

Adequate quantity of p.olyele-

polymer solution is dosed in the


flocculation tank followed by flash

mixing tank to enhance the

process of

color removal by the flocculation

process. A substantial amount BOD and

COD etc. are removed in the coagulation

and fl occulation process.

Precipitation and Sedimentstion in

Tabe Settler -1. (To remove the flocs muteriuls)

From the flocculation tank the

effluent is taken to the tube settler- 1 tank

where the dyes and suspended particles are precipitated. The flocs formed are

removed in the downstream tube settler 1


the help of tube settler media. The

effluent will further flow by overflow

system to the pH correction tank where requisite quantity of acid will be dosed

and pH will be adjusted as per the


pH Correction (To udjustthe inlet pH)

The etlluent from tube settler- I tank

is then taken to the pH corection channel

for neutralization, where 33% HCl acid

is dosed for neutralizing the pH value

around 7 to 8. It may be mentioned that

different dyed effluent may generate

different pH level. For acrylic and basic

pH is on the acidic side as

dyeing the

dyeing medium is ,acidic, in that pH

April 2008







I 500








I 150



corection should be made by adding

additional alkali. The pH correction tank is designed for hydraulic retention time of around 1 -2 minutes and is provided

with slow

waste with acid/alkali to

speed agitator for thoroughly

mixing of


Biological Treatment

The objective of biological treat-

ment of industrial wastewater is to

remove, or reduce the concentration of

organic and inorganic compounds.

Biological treatment process can take

many forms but all are based around

microorganisms, mainly bacteria. These microorganisms use components of the

effluent as their food and in doing so break them down to fewer complexes

and less hazardous compounds. In the process the microorganisms increase in

number. There are two main tlpes of processes, these involve suspended

microbial growth (e.g. activated sludge)

and attached microbial growth (e.g. fixed

film). With both approaches large

populations of microorganisms are

into contact with effluent in the


presence of excess oxygen. In both

the microbial population has to

retained in the reactor. With sus-



pended growth systems microbes grow

in small aggregates or flocs (this is

known as activated sludge).Activated

sludge (AS) leaves the reactor with the

treated ef{luent but is settled out in a

clarifier and retumed to the aeration unit.

Cotfiiii zt

If the amount of AS is excessive some

may be disposed of rather than being


In fixed film systems the microbial

population grows as a thin layer (a ibio- filmi) on the surface of an inerl suppofl

medium. The classical fixed film system

is known as a percolating or biological

filter and uses small stones as a medium


MBBR systems require a final

clarifier to remove particles of biofilm

that become detached from the medium. However, this material is not recycled to r the reactor

The chemical reactions that took

place in the MBBR reactor can be

defined according to the following three

Apart from the above basics

reaction there are some other reactions

that take place in the MBBR reaction

tanks. During aeration the oxygen reacts

withC, S andNwhichis shownbelow.

C+q ---> cQ+

S+q ---) Sq


N+q ---> Nq+

Some untreated ferrous sulfate and

ferrous hydroxide reacts with oxygen

and the reactions are as follows,

FeSO4+q ---) Fe,(SQ),

Fibre processed and factory operation Polycotton/eofi on' woven


.,'',, ,

Cotton woven

fabric finishing


wovgn:f*briefi nishiiig,,

cotton knit

fabric finishing

cotton/synthetics woven fabric finishing


fabric hnishing

















































225 Fe(OH),+q ---> Fe(OH)"


While most ofthe activated sludge is

recycled some may be surplus to

requirements and needs to be disposed

of, as does detached biofilm from film

reactor. This material must be disposed

appropriately so that the pollutants now present in this sludge do not enter the

water cycle. The treated liquid is

discharged to the environment or taken

61 for further treatment depending on the







.f iniqhirg; eiimmission

All fibres


commission dyeing


'fabric fushing:,,'. ,,



cotton accessory/




SW/U-Specific water use, SEV- SpeciJic ffiuent volune

to supporl microbial growth. In the more

modem system microbes grow on plastic

supports. In the traditional percolating


effluent is sprayed over the

medium and trickles through a packed

bed with oxygen entering from the air. In more recent reactor designs, the medium

(usually plastic) is submerged in ef{luent

and air is blown into the base of the

percolating filters

reactor. Traditional

require large areas of land and are

unlikely to be ofuse in Bangladesh due to


costs. Submerged fixed film

reactors using plastic media require

much less land and are potentially of value in treating textile wastes. These

plastic media are now widely used and

known as Moving



Bed Biological





desired standard ofeffluent

quality or the

19 required use of the wastewater.

Biological treatment plants must be

carefully managed as they use live

microorganisms to digest the pollutants.

For example some of the compounds in

the wastewater may be toxic to the bacteria used, and pre-treatment with

physical operations or chemical

processes may be necessary. It is also

important to monitor and control pH as

adverse pH may result in death of the

microorganisms. The ETP must be

properly aerated and must b e operated24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure that

the bacteria are provided with sufficient food (i.e. wastewater) and oxygen to keep them alive. Like humans microor-

ganisms need a balanced diet with

sources of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus

and sulfur. While textile wastes have

enough carbon and sulfur (sulfate) they

are generally lacking in nitrogen and

phosphorous containing compounds. If

the microorganism are to grow

and work


they are likely . to need

addition ofnutrients. Normally materials

SPL- Specific pollution load


A. Oxidationprocess

COHNS + 02 + Bacteria + DAP and

UREA ---> Cq + NIL + Energy + Other endProducts

DAP and Urea are used as food for the


B. Synthesis Process

COHNS+q+ Bacteria --| qqNq

(New bacteria)

C. Endogenous Respiration

ql+Nq +5O, --+ CO, + NH, +




,,-.j ;."1


22 Cotfefr

Equalization & Skimming


April 2008

Biological treatment (Activated Sludge Process


such as urea and ammonium phosphate

are added. It is possible

to replace these

nutrients by substituting the liquid

portion of effluent from

toilets, which is

rich in nitrogen and phosphorus

containing chemicals (the solid porlion

may cause problems). Both activated sludge and fixed film systems can

produce high quality effluent but both in

have advantages and disadvantages. In

the AS process the settling and recycling

of AS to the aerobic reactor is vital, and

the settling process can be difficult to

accomplish. Fixed film/MBBR systems do not require recycling of biomass and

so do not present this problem.

Anaerobic digestion

Anaerobic digestion is the

complex organic

biodegradation of

substances in the absence of oxygen to yield carbon dioxide, methane andwater. It is an effective process for treating high

COD wastes (e.g. size, desize washing and scouring) and the methane that is produced can be utilised as energy for heating etc. The reducing conditions in

an anaerobic digester

have been found to

azo dyes

cause decolorisation of

through cleavage


of the azo bond and

destruction of the dye

chromophore. Complete mineralisation of these degradation products does not

take place and aromatic amines may be present in the effluent from the digester

(Carliell et al., 1 995).

Effluent treatment plants in


According to the Environmental

Conservation Rules 1997, industrial

units and projects have been classified into four categories (Green, Orange A, Orange B, and Red) based on environ-

mental impact and location. Fabric

dyeing and chemical treatment industries

fall under the Red category and when applying for site clearance must submit

to the Deparlment of Environment an

ETP plan, including the layout and

design has been

location. When the

approved by the Department of

Environment and the ETP has been

constructed, then red category industries can apply for an environmental clearance


From very rough estimation there

are nearly 600-700 textile wet processing

industries in Bangladesh. So far nearly 300 to 400 factories have already set up

Moving bed plastic media

Bacteria in the plastic media

or at various stages of setting up effluent

treatmentplant (ETP)

Factors to Consider

Any factory needing to install an

ETP has to consider several factors. For

example, information about the factory's

wastewater is required, including

quantity and quality. To get this informa- tion the factory will have to take samples and have them analyzed at a reputable

laboratory. Some of the factors to be

considered are presented in the sche-

matic on the nextpage.

In Bangladesh mainly two types of

effluent treatment plants are


e.g (i) Physico Chemical Plants(PCP),

(ii) Biological Plants (BP). Both of them uses the above mentioned treatment