Water Conservation Through Automated Dyebath Reuse
Textile wet processes, particularly batch dyeing and finishing, consume vast quantities of water, posing significant demands on the water resources in regions where the industry is concentrated. Some dyebaths offer the potential for reuse, if appropriate adjustments are made for the residual dyes and their effect on product shades. If manufacturers successfully implement reuse, both the textile firm and the community will draw substantial benefits, including reduced consumption of water, energy, and chemicals and reduced wastewater effluent to be treated. Current efforts at Georgia Tech involve development and demonstration of an automated system to analyze the spent dyebaths in a nylon carpet manufacturing process, permitting their reconstitution and reuse without additional labor or expertise. Process water requirements may be reduced by about 7,300 gallons per batch (> 55% savings) while reuse of chemicals and energy is estimated to provide a substantial savings of –4.3¢ per pound of carpet. The basic technology is applicable to a wide range of textile products.
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