Water efficiency in textile processing: good practices and emerging technologies

Updated : October 2020


  • Production professionals
  • Textile chemicals professionals
  • Textile industry sustainability professionals
Water use and effluent generation in the textile production industries are closely linked to the use of materials, including chemicals, and energy, also referenced as the energy-water-materials nexus. This paper presents concepts such as waste minimization, pollution prevention, and green productivity that United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has incorporated into Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) framework for textile industries to implement. RECP practices realize progressive improvements in resource (use) efficiency, waste (generation) minimization, and human well-being. Common RECP practices include good housekeeping; input substitution; better process control; equipment modification; technology change; onsite reuse and recycling; production of useful by-products(s); and product modification. The paper highlights the technology change (RECP practice) as having the biggest potential to drastically improve water use and effluent generation in textile wet processing. Some of the emerging waterless technologies explained are supercritical carbon dioxide dyeing and 3D printing that reduce the generation of textile wastewater and limit the use of toxic chemicals in the production stages respectively.

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  1. Water Efficiency in Textile Processing: good practices and emerging technologies
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