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Constructed wetlands for treating textile dyes

Development of the use of a combination of chemical reagents and constructed wetlands to de-colour textile wastewaters which currently cause environmental and financial problems.

Textile effluents present complex and coloured wastewaters: they are not adequately treated in conventional wastewater treatment plants and therefore seriously endanger the environment. Different technologies, all highly costly, are being proposed, but textile wastewaters are basically an unsolved problem. Due to the strict environmental legislation and high cost of wastewater treatment, the project activities are oriented towards the development of efficient dye-bath effluents decolouration processes. The main objective of the proposed project is the synthesis of existing partial solutions and new know-how in an innovative manner that will offer a cost-beneficial solution for efficient treatment. In the project, simple and low cost alternative techniques for de-colouring offered by a Constructed Wetland (CW) will be tested and optimised in combination with conventional techniques in order to offer a reasonable solution to the textile industry. The CW technique will be developed using textile mill wastewaters from the producers of cellulose fibres and their blends with polyester fibres, because these branches represent a worldwide significant production plant. Only recently, CW technology has been considered as an option for the treatment of industrial wastewater. Industrial wastewaters most amenable to this type of treatment modality include landfill leachate, pulp and paper, petroleum refinery discharges and some chemical manufacturing wastes. Therefore, treatment of dyed industrial wastewater (e.g. textile) with CW represents a highly innovative approach. CW are capable of treating textile wastewaters containing a wide range of chemicals by processes such as absorption and bacterial breakdown, chemical oxidation, adsorption onto the bed matrix and sedimentation. They have basic properties to control textile pollutants including high organic carbon to bind contaminants to sediments; high microbial diversity to biodegrade organic pollutants; and both aerobic and anaerobic environments to ensure that potentially toxic organic intermediaries are completely degraded. Based on the high efficiency of treatment of textile wastewater with the pilot CW (results of the pilot CW in Ajdovscina, SLOVENIA 1989-1992), we assume that the combination of chemical reagents and CW could offer an efficient and cost-effective solution for wastewater treatment in the textile industry. Keywords: textile, wastewater, constructed wetland.
Acronym: 
TEXTILWET
Project ID: 
2 983
Start date: 
06-09-2002
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 800 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Water Pollution / Treatment
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.