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How to Properly Manage Textile Wastewater With Efficiency in MBBR

By: Tom Frankel
Post Date: mayo 16th 2019

Post Tags:

how to manage textile wastewater


Table Of Contents


Moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) is a relatively new and important type of wastewater treatment system. An MBBR tank consists of an aeration tank, very similar to a sludge tank, that contains unique geometrically shaped plastic material. This material provides extra surface area and encourages the growth of biofilm. The microorganisms that grow then consume the organic matter within the wastewater.

MBBR tanks allow for a higher concentration of biomass, which leads to space savings for any wastewater treatment plant. MBBR is useful for wastewater treatment plants that wish to increase their operating capacity and efficiency without increasing their building footprint. It is also helpful for wastewater treatment plants that continually experience high volume loads.

But why are MBBR systems useful for textile industry waste, and what advantages do they provide in this scenario? This article outlines a few textile waste facts and some reasons MBBR systems are ideal for textile wastewater. We will also provide ideas for how to manage these systems properly for the greatest efficiency.

Waste Produced by Textile Factories

Textile factories tend to produce a wide variety of waste products, including dyes, fats, oils and chemicals. During the rinsing process, in particular, it is nearly impossible to prevent some of these waste products from ending up in the water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies hazardous wastes into three types:

Additionally, different types of textile manufacture processes produce different types of waste:

These types of waste can be difficult and labor-intensive to remove from wastewater. But because of their harsh and toxic properties, many of them must be removed before wastewater can flow into municipal water systems.

The Importance of Finding Efficient Wastewater Solutions

Finding efficient wastewater solutions is critical for several reasons. The top three relate to cost, the environment and easing plant operations.


1. Cost

efficient wastewater solutions

More efficient wastewater treatment processes lead to reduced costs overall. Greater efficiency leads to streamlined operations, quicker treatment and equipment that requires less repair and replacement. For example, a plant rendered inefficient because of high backflow in its equipment will find that it pays much more in energy costs. It may also find that it must significantly increase the number of repairs done on its blowers and likely replace them more frequently.


2. Environment

Environmental concerns also lead many plants to introduce as much efficiency into their operations as possible. If backflow or high headloss causes the motors to produce too much power, this results in higher financial costs as well as ecological costs to the environment. Similarly, if wastewater treatment makes ineffective use of heat recovery, the plant will use more heat and power than it should. This overuse comes at a steep cost in greenhouses gas emissions and resulting harm to the planet from textile industry pollution. Additionally, the outflow of waste that has not undergone thorough treatment can contaminate the surrounding soil and water. Textile industry pollution prevention is key to reducing this harm.

Heat recovery, in particular, is a critical step with which a wastewater treatment facility can dramatically heighten the energy efficiency of its operations. Heat recovery is a technique that applies process water, which has previously been used in the textile manufacturing process and is already warm, in place of electrical energy to heat cold freshwater. This step saves on expensive energy costs and helps keep greenhouse gas emissions low to reduce the effect of textile industries on the environment.


3. Ease of Plant Operation

Wastewater treatment is a complex process. The more efficiency plant managers can build into the process, the easier plant operation and maintenance will be.

Textile wastewater treatment involves many steps:

This multistep process can be time-consuming and requires many resources. It also requires precise calibration to be effective, and many issues can occur to impede the process. For example, if machinery or surfacing becomes clogged with sludge, this clogging has many unwanted effects that reduce the efficiency of the process. The more efficiency plants can build into their systems with durable equipment and cutting-edge methods, the more efficiently the wastewater treatment process will run, and the easier plant operators’ jobs will become.

Use of Water in Textile Industries

The textile industry is extremely water-intensive, consuming enormous amounts of water both for making the textiles and for treating the resulting wastewater.

Water is necessary at all steps of the textile production process. During the manufacturing process, textiles require water to wash the raw materials, and they also need water during the finishing process. Textile manufacture also uses water to flush the textiles of the pollutants used repeatedly throughout the production process, including dye, oil and chemicals.

Textile wastewater, including dye manufacturing, is a major environmental concern. The textile industry uses massive amounts of water — every kilogram of product requires about 100 to 200 liters, to be more exact. Legal requirements set by each country are stringent and reinforced heavily on wastewater. Efficient and reliable wastewater treatment processes must be available to meet these standards. Whether this is for the dye process or treatment, reduction in water use and an increase in reuse are the ultimate goals.

Water conservation has become a vital issue all over the globe. Wastewater treatment facilities must find ways to continue their efficient treatment processes while using less water. MBBR offers one way to do this.

Textile Industry Wastewater Characteristics

textile industry wastewater characteristics

As discussed above, textile industry wastewater contains harsh pollutants, from dyes and resins to industrial solvents such as bleach and lye.

These waste products have a variety of undesirable or hazardous qualities:

Just as these qualities require that these chemicals be stored carefully in the workplace, they also require the chemicals to be scrubbed thoroughly from textile wastewater. Proper treatment of textile industry effluents is necessary to ensure people and the environment remain safe from toxins.

Textile Wastewater Treatment Methods

One of the most tedious steps in the textile wastewater treatment process is the removal of dyes. Sludge, coagulation, adsorption and other removal processes are tedious, time-consuming and expensive. However, these methods can be useful in the absence of more cutting-edge techniques.

Textile Wastewater Treatment Plant Design

Usually, textile wastewater treatment plants that use MBBR systems contain a BOD/COD removal tank, from which water then flows to a separation tank. However, because of MBBR’s compact size and efficiency, plants often integrate it with other systems, such as activated sludge tanks or membrane bioreactors. The setup of these integrated systems becomes more complex.

Textile wastewater treatment plants should be designed with several factors in mind:

Wastewater Solutions for Small-Space Textile Factories

For textile factories where space is limited, a few solutions exist:

Aeration Systems for Factories With Limited Space

limited space wastewater solutions

Where space is limited, the choice of an aeration system should take the facility’s size constraints into account. Diffused aeration is often a wise choice because of the higher efficiency it provides over mechanical aeration.

Benefits of an MBBR in the Textile Industry

MBBR systems offer many distinct advantages to textile industries.

  1. Space savings: MBBR systems are great space-saving systems. Their high organic load and hydraulic capacity mean they can do the same work as other types of aeration systems but within a smaller amount of space. Therefore, MBBR systems are excellent choices for textile factories with space constraints.
  2. Resistance to toxicity: The high concentration of biomass also means that an MBBR system is sturdy and can easily resist environmental alterations. For example, an MBBR system will not be adversely affected by the introduction of toxic chemicals that could otherwise cause toxic shock within the wastewater system. This factor makes MBBR an excellent choice for textile wastewater.
  3. Ability to treat strong waste: Because of the high concentration of suspended solids in an MBBR system, the system can handle very strong and concentrated types of wastewater, such as chemical wastewater. This factor makes MBBR systems ideal for textile wastewater.
  4. Improved nitrification: Nitrifiers grow slowly in comparison to other types of microbes, but the textured plastic carriers of an MBBR system provide a stable surface where they can grow safely and steadily. By supporting the growth of these nitrifiers, MBBR promotes improved nitrification within the wastewater and is ideal for wastewater with high nitrogen content.
  5. Efficiency: MBBR carriers are also continually bobbing in the wastewater because of the aeration system. Since they are always in motion, these carriers constantly bring their biofilm into contact with the wastewater. This factor leads to a high level of mass transfer and oxygen transfer efficiency to help speed up the wastewater treatment process.
  6. Easy maintenance: An MBBR system offers this specific advantage over traditional activated sludge systems, in particular. With traditional activated sludge, managing the sludge can be a laborious and difficult task. The balance of food versus microorganisms must be carefully calibrated to keep the system working effectively. With MBBR, no painstaking sludge calibration must take place.
  7. Cost savings: Managing activated sludge has many costs in time, money and resources. With traditional activated sludge systems, the sludge must be recycled, which also has high costs. With MBBR systems, no sludge recycling is necessary. This factor leads to lower costs. MBBR systems are also more cost-effective than membrane bioreactors.
  8. User-friendliness: MBBR systems are exceptionally user-friendly, especially for plant operators with no previous experience with MBBRs. Their low maintenance requirements make them easy to operate. Since microorganisms do much of the work, the plant operator has fewer controls to monitor and calibrate.
  9. Longevity: The biofilm carriers of an MBBR system are specially designed for a long life expectancy. This long life expectancy increases the longevity of the whole system.

Contact SSI Aeration, Your Full-Service MBBR Aeration Systems Provider

free textile mbbr quote

Coupling SSI’s patented PTFE fine bubble system with EEVolved MBBR allows plants to achieve the highest volumetric efficiency of any biological treatment process when compared to MBR, SBR, CAS and granular technologies. Our engineers have worked to reduce energy and operating costs, control complexity and operator intervention and decrease maintenance, all while increasing efficiency across all avenues of treatment, hydraulic capacity, volumetric efficiency, process versatility and process life span.

To find out more about how SSI can help in your textile treatment and MBBR needs, please contact us!