A life cycle assessment of the membrane processes applied for salt recovery in reactive dyeing

Şimşek, Naz Zeynep
Reactive dyeing in the textile industry requires the addition of a significant amount of salt and generates wastewater that is high in pollution load and particularly high in salt concentration. In the literature, a variety of Best Available Techniques (BATs) for the reduction of salt consumption in reactive dyeing and the reuse of treated wastewater are available. Among these techniques, Ultrafiltration (UF), Nanofiltration (NF), and combined UF+NF systems appear as the most efficient BATs, as they can provide both water and salt reclamation. In the present study, the environmental impacts of the above-mentioned BAT applications and their potential to reduce salt usage in the reactive dyeing process were evaluated by following a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach, and the results were compared with the direct wastewater discharge scenarios. Three distinct reactive dyeing methods were chosen for the scenarios: jet dyeing, jigger dyeing, and pad-steam dyeing. For the reuse scenarios, three different membrane treatment simulations (UF, NF, and UF+NF) were devised using WAVE software for the wastewater generated by each reactive dyeing method with the purpose of generating membrane filtration part of the inventory data that is to be integrated to the inventory data obtained from 21 textile mills in Turkey. The life cycle impacts of the alternative scenarios were compared with the direct discharge scenario using the SimaPro Ph.D.v.9.2 LCA software. The results showed that the highest environmental impacts are on the Fine Particulate Matter Formation (FPMF) and Global Warming, HumanHealth (HGWP) impact categories for all the scenarios. The main contributors to both the impact categories were found to be energy consumption and dye usage in the dyeing process. The results demonstrated that changing the reactive dyeing technique has an influence on the overall impact score, but the names of the categories with the highest environmental impacts did not change, even though their scores changed. For all the dyeing techniques, the highest impact is in the "Human Health" category. Considering the overall impacts, a UF-only treatment that provides an efficient reclamation of salt was found to be the best application for each three reactive dyeing techniques. These results have the potential to serve as a guide for textile plants in reactive dyeing wastewater and salt recovery and reuse.


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Citation Formats
N. Z. Şimşek, “A life cycle assessment of the membrane processes applied for salt recovery in reactive dyeing,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.