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In wastewater mgmt, textile is still under developing stage

Jan 01, 2021
In wastewater mgmt, textile is still under developing stage

Unitop Aquacare is an ISO 9001:2008 certified leading engineering organisation with four decades of experience in heat transfer and process engineering projects for design, manufacturing, supply, installations and services. Unitop Aquacare is a trusted name in the field of industrial evaporation and drying technologies having over 400 clientele worldwide with number of repeated orders.


Sanjay Sawant, Head – Sales & Marketing, Unitop Aquacare Limited, speaks on the importance of zero liquid discharge for the textile industry, and company’s technologies to treat water.

How important is zero liquid discharge (ZLD) for the Indian textile industry at this juncture?

As we all aware that textile industry is one of the most water consuming industry all over the world. Every process of textile manufacturing demands huge quantity of water rather fresh water. In India, 425 million gallons of water is consumed in textile processing and manufacturing. For example: manufacturing of one pair of denim requires 500 gallons of water i.e approximately 1,900 litres. In view of this, this consumed water ultimately, converted into wastewater and if it is discharged without treatment, there will be huge contamination of adjoining water bodies of textile industry, including ground water. From past many years, rivers like Ganga has been tremendously polluted by the industrial belt situated along its bankside.

In view to address issues like river water pollution and scarcity of fresh water “Zero Liquid Discharge” concept came into picture. ZLD means complete recycle and reuse of industrial and municipal wastewater produced by the particular industry, without discharging a drop into the river or any such water body. This ultimately helps in reducing the water demand from the industry on a daily basis. An effective ZLD system creates a win-win situation for the Government, as well as for the industry by converting a wastewater into a fresh water resource.

With regards to water and waste treatment, etc. what are today’s your company’s involvement in the textile industry? What are the various technologies available in these spheres and what are the developments at your company?

Unitop Aquacare is capable of providing end to end solutions for complete wastewater management of an industry.

We have two segments of wastewater treatment and evaporation technology, under which our highly experienced and professional staff is committed to provide optimum solution for ZLD. We provide complete turnkey solutions such as design, supply, installation and commissioning.

For wastewater treatment, our systems are designed based on conventional unit operation and processes, but with modernise equipment, so that there shall be optimum use of space, and available utilities. Based on individual client requirement, parameters, area availability, we suggest processes like dissolved air flotation, membrane bio reactor, high pressure reverse osmosis, nanofiltration to name a few.

In textile industries mercerization is important process and its used for different kind of fabrics denim, grey, yarn dyed, home furnishing, etc.

In particular for denim and grey fabric wash liquor generated from mercerisation process have lot of dissolved and suspended impurities. Suspended Impurities can be removed by filteration but it is very challenging to remove dissolved impurities. For that we have developed special chemical treatment to remove impurities so that caustic can be effectively recovered and reuse. Making the mercerisation process eco-friendly.

We are also working on to reduce operating cost and to recover and reuse indigo.

Beside this, we conduct training activities for various industrial belts such as Taloja, Chemical belt of Chiplun. We are also participating in various exhibitions across the Globe.

How has been the response from the industry in application of solutions in these areas? If any brief case study, please tell us.

We have received very positive response from industries and our plant are working on grey and denim sectors in non and organised sector. This solution is helping mercerizer machine self-sustainable.

With so many global organisations like ZDHC are involved in sustainability, how has your company benefited by this new wave of controlling/eliminating waste in textile industry?

In American and European continents, approach of providing zero liquid discharge is a common practice at industrial sector. However, in recent years, Asian countries are also involved in making such policies for providing sustainable solutions in the field of zero liquid discharge.

In view of this, we are engaged in providing upgradation of old ETPs, recycling followed by ZLD plants in many areas of India, Bangladesh, etc.

Moreover, various fashion brands are involving and recommending Unitop technology for the provision of the complete wastewater management solutions to their associated textile process houses.

Do you think the Governments should extend more sops to encourage wastewater treatment and recycling? If so, what are your suggestions and wish-list?

Yes, certainly. As we all know, after the Government notifications, industrialists are really showing concerns about the damage to environment and positive approach towards its conservation. But still there are some lacunas remaining due to which, there are chances of escapes from these stringent rules. The Government may identify the best suitable processes for wastewater treatment and recycling to avoid confusions among most industrial units and prepare SOPs accordingly. Secondly, the present CETPs can be made more modernise and well equipped with instrumentation to avoid frequent disturbances in plant.

Wastewater management is crucial to attain sustainability at all levels. From your experience and perspectives, how do you rate India in this aspect compared to some countries in Europe and Asia?

As said earlier, compared to Europe many Asian countries are still under developing stage in terms of technology and its actual implementation in field of sustainable wastewater management. However, countries like China, Japan, Arab countries are much more advance in implementation of modernise automated wastewater treatment systems.

In India, some sectors like power plant, refineries, FMCGs, pharmaceuticals are actively implementing wastewater management, but textile sector is still under developing stage and still we need to walk a long path.

After 2014 Indian Government has taken many important steps towards environmental conservation by various initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Namami Gange Abhiyaan, Jalshakti Abhiyan to name a few. In India, many NGO’s like TERI, CSE, NEERI etc are working in close association with Government in monitoring the actual status of overall environmental management and creating awareness in general public. Indian law system is also working towards the setting up the appropriate procedures especially for environmental matters to take quick actions for example development and implementation of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.

Concluding above, India has tremendous potential for development and implementation of sustainable activities across all industrial as well as domestic sectors.

How can one compare the effluent management practices in India with other developing countries?

Nowadays, we can see there is much more awareness among all socio-economic levels. Due to this increase awareness regarding scarcity of water, technological development within India, encouragement to small scale business by ‘Make in India’ initiative, India is going towards achievement of its sustainable development goals. Specifically, we can say compared to other developing countries, India is a pioneer in effluent management practices at various sectors, many medium and large scale industries are voluntarily implementing rainwater harvesting, effluent recycling and ZLD practices in their premises.