Is it possible to end up with clean water after the textile dying process?

Clothing and fabrics are often defined by their color and patterns – but the textile dying process is one of the most environmentally hazardous aspects of the textile industry.

During the dying process, harmful chemicals are used and released into the ambient air and the environment, as waste is often disposed of in rivers and on agricultural land.

A new, environmentally friendly purification process developed by Biotechnology doctoral student Maria Jonstrup at Lund University promises a much greener way of getting rid of the chemicals by leaving only clean water at the end.

The research has been tested only at the lab, not at the factory, but “in the long term it should be possible for textile factories in India, China and Bangladesh to use the technique. If it works on a laboratory scale it is quite likely that it will also work in a real-life situation”, Jonstrup says in a news release.

The new method combines two types of purification processes, one biological and one chemical.

In the biological step, microorganism break down the dyes in a reactor and the chemical step involves the use of small amounts of iron and hydrogen peroxide in combination with UV light.

The research will next be tested in larger volumes of water to reflect industry conditions, and researchers will try to use sunlight instead of UV.

Source: Lund University news release

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