The four sectors

Textile industry

The textile and clothing industry belongs to one of the most important global industries in Europe. Despite over the last 15 years numerous relocations have taken place (production capacities were moved to other production sites) the leading position of EU textile industry is in higher productivity and responsibility for innovations, quality, creativity, design or fashion, permanent reconstruction and modernization. But on the field of water management the textile finishing industry is still one of the largest water consumers in Europe with some water very intensive textile processes like scouring, printing and dyeing, as they require many rinsing sequences after each step. The estimated annual consumption of fresh water at the European level is 600 million m3.  Besides, the textile finishing industry is also one of the highest pollutants because of the use of various organic compounds and different auxiliary substances (1 kg of chemicals and auxiliaries is processed per kg of textile product). Therefore, to mitigate the environmental impact, substantial reduction of fresh water demand and related effluent discharges  need to be considered by implementing available and emerging technologies as small-scale low-cost textile processing wastewater treatment units. This approach is in line with the ideas mentioned in the strategic research agenda of the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing. 
Three textile SME’s namely Inotex from Czech Republic, Svilanit and Tekstina from Slovenia, collaborate in this project together with Universities, Research Institutes, a Textile Association and Water Treatment Suppliers. 

-increase the treatability and reusability options of the effluents leading to the real implementation of water cycle closure in Tekstina and Svilanit.
The selected approach is based on
- the separation  of high concentrated and low concentrated streams 
- Implementation of a tailor made treatment train for mixed waste streams for the textile company Inotex.   

Integration of tailor-made treatment trains comprising:
- Division of low and high concentrated streams.
- Cost-efficient treatment of waste discharges with high treatability and reusability potential.

Tailor-made treatment technologies verified at lab-scale (within subproject 3) are tested on-site (within subproject 5) as individual or included in the treatment train based on:
- Evapoconcentration
- AOP (UV/H2O2 alone or with catalysts)
- Ultrafiltration
- Nano-filtration
- Membrane Bioreactor
- Flocculation
- Biological treatment

After systematic analyses of Svilanit and Tekstina production processes and detailed characterization of all relevant waste discharges first pilot experiments on high concentrated streams in Tekstina using evapoconcentration technology were performed in the period from June to December 2010. From January 2011 an AOP- UV/H2O2 pilot is running on low concentrated waste discharges in Svilanit, for subsequent reuse. At the same company an UF pilot is ready to test. Next three months will be dedicated to MBR and AOP pilot testing of medium concentrated streams in Tekstina.
Mixed water streams coming from Inotex production are treated by the selected treatment trains.
In Tekstina the best solution so far is the separation and the separate treatment of very concentrated streams coming from particular machinery as they significantly contribute to the annual COD load. Concentrated streams were treated by evapoconcentration. For low to medium concentrated streams NF was tested at pilot scale.


                                           NF pilot unit in Tekstina

By analyzing Svilanit data it appears that no useful effluents segregation can be obtained. Proposed treatment train composed of filtration technologies in combination with AOP is foreseen.

                                       AOP pilot plant in Svilanit
The tested technology treatment train for mixed wastewater consists of the following treatment steps - decolourization with flocculent, biological treatment (anoxic + oxic) as most efficient step for organic pollution degradation and finally the AOP (UV/H2O2) step for the residual colour, COD pollution and disinfection of recycled water.

Related documents
- Laboratory scale experiments for waste water reuse in textile processes
- New insights into the microbiology of water streams in the textile industry
- Application of evapocon centration to pulp & paper and textile salines streams
- Examples of treatment strategies for reuse purposes in textile finishing SMEs


Participating industry companies
Participatingtechnology suppliers
Participating research organisations






This project is co-funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the EC.


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