Treatment and reuse of reactive dye effluent from textile industry using membrane technology
Chollom, Martha Noro
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The textile industry consumes large volumes of water and in turn produces substantial quantities of polluted effluents. Approximately 30% of reactive dyes used during the textile processing remain unfixed on fibres and are responsible for the colouration in effluents. Various conventional methods are being used to treat textile effluent. However, the disadvantage of these methods is that total colour removal is not achieved and chemical by-products are introduced from the use of chemicals. The water quality produced therefore does not meet the requirement for textile reuse. Membrane based processes provide interesting possibilities of separating hydrolysed dye stuff and dyeing auxiliaries, thereby reducing colouration and COD content. They can be employed to treat reactive dye bath effluent to recover the salts and water for the purpose of reuse. This study aimed at integrating membrane processes into the reactive dye bath of a textile industry. The objectives were to determine the quality of permeate produced in terms of removal of organics, ascertain its reusability for dyeing, investigate the production rate in terms of permeate fluxes and finally to investigate the cleanability and flux recovery of the membranes. Three effluent samples were chosen for this study based on the dyeing recipe; Light shade, Medium shade and Dark shade. Ultrafiltration (UF) and Nanofiltration (NF) membrane processes were employed to treat the reactive dye bath effluents to recover the salts and water. Investigations were conducted firstly with UF as a pre-treatment to NF. Secondly, evaluations were carried out on the performance of two types of NF membranes (SR90 and NF90) in terms of permeate quality and fluxes for the investigated samples. The effect of cleaning on membrane performance was done. A reusability test was carried out on the permeate samples for dyeing. It was found that the use of UF as a pre-treatment yielded an increase in permeate of 5–25% of the NF fluxes and 90% in organics reduction for all treated samples, hence increasing the water recovery. High rejection of ˃90% by NF90 for COD, TOC and colour were obtained for all the treated samples. SR90 rejection was 80–90% for colour and ˃90% for COD and TOC. Salt recovery for NF90 was 60–90% and for SR90 was 40–50%. The reusability tests carried out showed that permeate recycled from NF90 can be used for any section in the textile industry including the most critical such as dyeing on light shades, while that from SR90 can be used for dyeing dark shades only. It was then concluded that membrane based processes can be integrated into the dye bath of the textile process for the purpose of reuse, thereby saving on the cost of chemicals (salts), reducing fresh water usage and reducing the extent of final effluent treatment.