Effluents from dye and textile industries are highly contaminated and toxic to the environment. High concentrations of non-biodegradable compounds contribute to increases in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the wastewater bodies.
The widely used physical and chemical methods have their limitations with respect to efficiency, costs and use of raw materials or harmful chemicals involved for treatment.
One of the sustainable, cost-effective ways is microbes such as bacteria, algae and fungi to absorb toxic materials without leaving any residues in the discharged water.
What are the key sustainability benefits?
Use of microbes significantly reduces the cost involved, while also helping in resource recovery. It also minimizes pollution related challenges associated with conventional techniques.
How does this work?
Microbes are added to reactors where the dye containing textile wastewater is taken. Processing conditions stimulate the degradative capabilities of microbes which degrade the harmful dyes present in the water. The microbes can safely be recovered and clean water can be discharged into the soil or used for agriculture applications.
Where is innovation needed (which part of the process)?
The challenge lies in optimizing the technology involved in microbial degradation of textile wastewater such as use of single strain or consortium. Innovations in identifying microbes with high degradability rate can enhance its adoption at scale.
Microbes for textile wastewater treatment
Microbial fuel cell degrades toxic dye, generates power
Challenges in managing toxic wastewater from textile industry and solutions
Need to raise awareness on water stewardship, existing incentives and policies that aim to address the issue of water conservation in the textile industry, adapting sustainable business practices and collaboration between the industry and government