«Published Annually Vol. 6, No. 1 ISBN 978-0-979-7593-3-8 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS Sawyer School of Business, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts ...»
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Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012
ECO-GREEN INDUSTRIAL EVAPORATOR: A SOLUTION TO POLLUTION FOR TIRUPUR KNITWEAR INDUSTRY
Tirupur and Las Vegas have only one thing in common; both cities are dependent on a single factor to keep their economies alive. Just think if gambling is banned in Las Vegas, the city will die; similarly in Tirupur, if fabric dyeing is banned the city will die, its entire economy revolves around the knitwear industry. Fabric dyeing is the intrinsic part of any knitwear industry. Tirupur’s knitwear industry needs to be fully functional to keep the cluster running smoothly to keep maintain the economy of the town.
The Madras High Court in February 2011 ordered closure of all dyeing and bleaching units in Tirupur cluster not conforming to the zero discharge norms of the TNPCB (Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board). This crucial decision has a long back ground of nearly 20 years of negotiations, parleys, petitions, allegations, decisions and requests by the industry to give more time to come up with workable solutions.
Business Line’s article rightly points out “At stake is not only the future of the hosiery industry with export and domestic sales turnover of about Rs. 16,000 crores, but also the livelihood of about 5 lakh workers employed in various related industries in Tirupur.
Over two decades the untreated or semi treated effluent discharges from the Fabric Dyeing plants in Tirupur area have polluted the river Noyyal and related water bodies and in some cases the effluents have even affected the ground water. This has resulted in serious environmental problem as the water is neither safe for drinking nor useful for irrigation. The farmers of the area have been protesting and a PIL is filed by an NGO against the errant process houses to protect the public interest. The Madras High Court after hearing the affected parties at several occasions and holding various meetings with connected government departments ordered on the 28th of January 2011 that all process houses must conform to the ZLD (Zero Liquid Discharge) norms of the TNSPCB (Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board) or close. By ZLD it is meant that every drop of water used for fabric processing should be treated and evaporated and no quantity of water can be discharged from the processing unit.
The Tirupur cluster primarily depends on cotton fibre for its knit fabric. The cotton plant thrives on soil containing calcium and magnesium which is carried through the plant to the cotton fibre. The calcium and magnesium blocks penetration of dye during the dyeing process and needs to be broken for effective “look” of the fabric, as desired by many end customers. For effective penetration of dyes, the dyeing and bleaching units use a variety of toxic chemicals, including hydroxides, hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid and sodium nitrate. The toxic content of the effluents increased in the 1990s with dyers switching to vat dyes and reactive dyes from Naphthol.
Another factor is the flow of water has considerably reduced in the only river in Tirupur i.e. the Noyyal as compared to the amount of water which flowed 15 to 20 years back. Noyyal is a tributary of Cauvery which starts from the Nilagiri hills north of Coimbatore and flows through Tirupur for about 7 kms. The Noyyal is a non perennial river and depends on natural spring, lake or rain water and flows mainly through climatic dry zones where rainfall expected is deficient. Of late the farmers in the adjoining Coimbatore district have started using the Noyyal water extensively for irrigation. The demand for water from the urbanised ever expanding Coimbatore city, rapidly growing hubs of medium scale industries around it and township clusters’ surrounding the city has increased in a big way, resulting in lesser flow of water downstream for Tirupur district. Thus because of lesser water flowing in the river Noyyal the effluents discharged in to the river are not dissolved properly raising the levels of TDS(Total Dissolved Solids ) beyond permissible limits.
At this stage to ensure the Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) effluent discharge treatment and disposal is a huge task. The industry, the associations and the government bodies have been working together for past few years to find workable solution to Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 dissolve an estimated 2.5 crores litres of liquid effluent each day. Those who could afford have set up Individual Effluent Treatment Plants (IETP) and for those who needed financial and technical support were grouped together connected to Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP) located at various places in Tirupur area. But the problem is not a simple one as ZLD was not achieved, about 20% liquid effluent could not be efficiently cleared with the available technology. The major issue is how to dissolve the 15 to 20% effluent efficiently. At present there are 152 IETPs which are mostly installed by the vertically integrated process houses or huge process houses. These IETPs discharge estimated 60 lakhs litres liquid effluent each day.
Adding further to the liquid effluent discharge are about 422 smaller dyeing units and 101 bleaching units which are connected to the 20 CETPs located at various parts of the Tirupur area. These CETPs together were discharging an estimated 2.08 crores litres liquid effluent per day. Even after all these efforts the problem was not resolved as ZLD was not achieved completely.
About 20% liquid effluents could not be efficiently cleared with the available technology.. These CETPs together were discharging an estimated 2.08 crores liquid effluent per day. The total water handling and effluent discharge details are given below
The existing treatment of textile liquid effluent involves three stages:
a. First stage comprises of Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant wherein the liquid effluent is subjected to a process whereby major portion of the water is separated and purified for further reuse for the process house;
b. Second stage is the evaporation of the concentrated brine solution using Mechanical Evaporation Systems.
c. In the third stage the concentrated evaporator rejects are fed into the Crystallizer to separate the salt present in the brine solution into solid form.
Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012
This Mechanical Evaporation: is a process of heating the concentrated effluent using steam energy and electricity requiring enormous quantities of firewood and electricity resulting in deforestation and carbon emission. This Mechanical Evaporator needs to be shut down once a week for full one day for maintenance and cleaning resulting in shutting down of the main plant.
THE CRISIS SAVIOUR: ECO GREEN INDUSTRIAL EVAPORATOR
Eco Green Industrial Evaporator (EGIE) can provide a commercially viable solution to the present crisis by constructing a natural evaporator which can help an existing RO system to achieve ZLD norms as prescribed by the TNPCB. This has been designed and successfully installed by Green Textile Movement (GTM), National Institute of Fashion Technology-Tirupur Exporters Association (NIFT-TEA).
The concept of EGIE was proposed by a German Professor to India, Dr. Florien Schindler, in the year 2001 during his visit to India when in discussion with Green Textile Movement (GTM), National Institute of Fashion Technology-Tirupur Exporters Association (NIFT-TEA).Tirupur knitwear industry was struggling to find a solution since the year 1998 with orders of closure from the Madras Court to the errant process houses who could not meet the TNPCB norms and the entire industry was without any practical solution. Dr. Schindler remembered that the Germans have been using a contraption made of wooden frame which had fine dry branches of apple tree stacked vertically to form a filter to recover salt from sea water, with the help from sun and the wind. Dr. Schindler discussed the possibility of solving the pollution crisis faced by the knitwear industry with his colleague Prof. Kalidas by setting up a similar plant. Prof. Kalidas was inspired to make a prototype in the year 2002, based on the conceptual details provided by Dr. Schindler. This proto did not succeed due to initial design flaws and various other reasons. In November 2010 Prof. Kalidas happened to meet Mr. Raja and Mr. P. Mohan informally at a social function, Prof.
Kalidas mentioned Dr. Schindler’s idea. In December, 2010 the GTM came into existence, as a research wing of NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute, Tirupur. The founder members of GTM are led by Mr. Raja M. Shanmugham, Chairman, NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute, Mr. Srinivasan (Seenu), Director, Alpine Knits India Ltd, Mr. P. Mohan, Managing Director, Anugraha Fashion Mill Private Limited, Professor Kalidas and Mr. S. Dhananjayan, Chartered Accountant.
Dr. Schindler, correcting design flaw making a revised proto with Prof. Kalidas the team was convinced and an ingenious workable idea and GTM (Green Textile Movement) was formed in December, 2010.
Eco Green Industrial Evaporator (EGIE) follows a simple process of concentrating the brine solution through effective usage of various natural energies such as solar, wind and relative humidity in the atmosphere. The GTM team constructing a prototype and carried out necessary structural and other modifications to the Gradierwerk technology, to suit the requirements of evaporating Concentrated Effluent Brine Solution emanating from the Reverse Osmosis Process being carried out by Process Houses.
A miniature pilot plant of size Length 2.3 meter x Height 2 meter and width 1 meter i.e. a total of 4.6 Square meters plant was installed on a trial basis at the factory of one of the members of NIFT-TEA. This mini pilot plant was tested by pumping the effluent brine water over to the top and poured into the stashed wooden sticks. The following results were arrived after testing
the plant for Six days using industrial effluent water:
Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 The table above clearly shows that the evaporation of concentrated effluent to the tune of not less than 200 Litres per square meter takes place using EGIE whereas the natural evaporation of the solar ponds is only 4.5 Litres per Square Meter.
An improved model was made for commercial test. This commercial model was constructed using 30 ft high wooden frames.