Sustainable Textile Challenges - Discuss & Debate

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Challenge category : Reducing water pollution in textile value chain

Challenge question : How can textile wastewater treatment be made low-energy and low-carbon?

December 2020

Stakeholders : EHS professionals , Energy management professionals , Machinery and equipment makers , Textile industry sustainability professionals , Textile waste management professionals ,

Textile effluent treatments need elaborate stages and processes in order to ensure that the resulting water post treatment meets strict pollution control norms. As a result, significant amounts of energy are utilized in many stages of the textile industry wastewater treatment.

Finding out sustainable and more efficient solutions for these energy applications can save significant amounts of greenhouse emissions, as well as money!





Carbon Focus





Support Organisations

Low-carbon assessment for ecological wastewater treatment by a constructed wetland in Beijing

Presented in this paper is a low-carbon assessment for wastewater treatment by a constructed wetland as ecological engineering. Systems accounting by combining process and input–output analyses is applied to track both direct and indirect GHG emissions associated with the wastewater treatment. Based on the detailed assessment procedures and the embodied GHG emission intensity database for the Chinese economy in 2007, the GHG emissions embodied in both the construction and operation stages of a pilot constructed wetland in Beijing are investigated in detail, with parallel calculations carried out for a cyclic activated sludge plant as a typical conventional wastewater treatment system for comparison.

With the overall embodied GHG emissions taken into account, the constructed wetland is shown to be remarkably less carbon intensive than the conventional wastewater treatment system, and the contrast in GHG emission structure is also revealed and characterized. According to the results, the ecological engineering of the constructed wetland is considered to be favorable for achieving the low-carbon goal.


  • Ecological engineering techniques for low carbon impact
  • System accounting for measuring carbon impact and control
  • Constructed wetland systems for low carbon impact in textile wastewater treatment
  • GHG emissions by a pilot constructed wetland
  • Textile Wastewater Treatment Using Granular Activated Carbon Adsorption in Fixed Beds

    This work involved the treatment of industrial wastewater from a nylon carpet printing plant which currently receives no treatment and is discharged to sea. As nylon is particularly difficult to dye, acid dyes are required for successful coloration and cause major problems with the plant's effluent disposal in terms of color removal. Granular activated carbon Filtrasorb 400 was used to treat a ternary solution of acid dyes and the process plant effluent containing the dyes in a fixed-bed column system.


  • Sustainable solutions for nylon wastewater treatment
  • Utilization of activated carbon for nylon wastewater treatment
  • Treatment of dyes in a fixed-bed column system
  • Removal of COD and colour from textile wastewater using limestone and activated carbon

    One of the textile industries in Penang, Malaysia is experiencing high  concentration  of  COD  and  colour  in  the  final  effluent  after  biological  treatment  exceeding  the  standard  discharge  limit.  The  purpose  of  the  present  study was to investigate the suitability of using activated carbon (AC), limestone (LS)  and  mixture  of  both  (LS:AC)  as  low  cost  media  for  the  post-treatment  of  treated  effluent.  The  physico-chemical  treatment  adopted  in  this  study  is  preferred  over  the  other  methods  because  of  its  simplicity,  easy  maintenance  and  quality  control.  The result showed that limestone  and  activated  carbon  mixture  provides an alternative medium for removing COD and colour at a much lower cost as compared with activated carbon.


  • Zero carbon textile wastewater treatment technology
  • COD reduction technique for textile wastewater
  • Technology for COD reduction in treated textile effluents
  • Turning Off the Tap On Fashion’s Wastewater

    US-based SeaChange Technologies has put a new spin on the clean-up of textile effluent from dyeing and finishing with a new way to treat wastewater and sludge using vortex separation in a one-step process.Funded by Fashion for Good, the North Carolina start-up has recently completed a 3- month pilot-scale trial with Indian textile giant Arvind using its patented cyclonic separation technique to clean wastewater streams and highly concentrated sludge to reduce both chemical discharge and overall greenhouse gas emissions in the dyeing process.


  • Sustainable wastewater treatment technology
  • Separating and cleaning wastewater to eliminate toxic sludge in landfills