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«EUROPEAN COMMISSION Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Reference Document on Best Available Techniques for the Textiles Industry July 2003 ...»

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As concerns PTT, this aromatic polyester (polytrimethylene terephthalate) is made by the polycondensation of 1,3-propanediol and terephthalic acid. The high cost of synthesis of 1,3propanediol has for many years prohibited the commercialisation of this fibre. Recently Shell pursued a new lower-cost synthesis route for the production of this monomer, which has led to renewed interest for PTT polymers [178, VITO, 2001]. More information about these fibres is reported in Section 4.6.2.

On polyester fibres in general, it is also worth mentioning that during the polycondensation reaction, cyclic oligomers with very low water-solubility can be formed (1 - 3 % on the weight of the fibre [77, EURATEX, 2000]). These oligomers tend to migrate to the surface of the fibre during dyeing, thus negatively affecting level dyeing and rub-fastness properties.

2.1.1.2 Polyamide fibres (PA) The starting polymer comes from the polycondensation reaction between a diamine and a dicarboxylic acid. According to the number of carbon atoms of the end-product one can speak of PA 6,6 or PA 6.

PA 6,6 is made by thermal polycondensation of equimolecular amounts of adipic acid and 1,6hexamethylendiamine. The equilibrium condensate contains small amounts of monomers and cyclic dimers (2 %).

PA 6 is made by polymerisation of the cyclic monomer epsilon-caprolactame. The caprolactame content in the polymer can be reduced to 0.2 % by extraction with hot water. During the melting process for the production of the fibre (melt spinning), the caprolactame content rises again and is partially emitted during the following thermal treatments.

–  –  –

2.1.1.3 Acrylic fibres (PAC) The polymer is obtained by radical polymerisation of acrylonitrile in aqueous emulsion or in solvent. The obtained polymer, made of 100 % acrylonitrile (also called PAN), gives fibres with insufficient dye-binding capability, due to the high glass transition temperature (above 100 ºC).

For this reason this polymer is no longer used in the textile industry. Acrylic fibres (PAC), commonly found on the market today, are anionic copolymers containing 85 – 89 % of acrylonitrile, 4 – 10 % of a non-ionic comonomer (vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate, methyl acrylate) and 0.5 – 1 % of ionic comonomers containing sulphonic or sulphate groups.

Dry and wet-spinning techniques can be used for the production of the fibre. When dry spinning is used the polymer is dissolved in dimethylformamide (DMF). If the fibre is manufactured through wet spinning, besides DMF, dimethylacetamide, dimethylsulphoxide, ethyl carbonate and aqueous solutions of inorganic salts or acids are also used. Residues of these solvents (0.2 - 2 % of the weight of the fibre) are found in the waste water from pretreatment.

2.1.1.4 Polypropylene fibres (PP)

The isotactic polymer is used for fibre production. Due to the tertiary carbon atom, PP is very sensitive to high temperature and oxidation. Alkylated phenols or p-xylols, together with sulphides or thio-derivatives (dilauryl- or distearyl thiopropionate) are used as stabilizers.

Substances with benzotriazol groups, Ni complexes, anthrachinon derivatives and steric hindered diamines are used as UV-absorbents. These low molecular weight substances remain in the PP fibres and are considered as possible emission-relevant substances.

2.1.1.5 Elastane (EL)

Elastane fibres are made out of an elastomer containing at least 85 % of polyurethane (PU). For the production of the fibre (dry spinning) the polymer is dissolved in dimethylacetamide.

Residues of this solvent remain in the fibre (1 % on the weight of the fibre) and are found in the waste water from pretreatment.

To reduce the high adhesive characteristics and to guarantee sufficient gliding properties during processing, preparation agents are applied to the fibre (approximately 6 – 7 % add-on). These auxiliaries contain 95 % silicone oils and 5 % surfactants. The high percentage of silicone oils will cause environmental concerns during pretreatment of the textile material, when these substances have to be removed.

2.1.1.6 Viscose (CV)

The starting material is the cellulose that is extracted from coniferous timber and supplied to the fibre manufacture in sheets about 1cm thick. The wood contains ca. 40 – 50 % cellulose that is useable to make viscose. The cellulose is first allowed to swell in a NaOH solution. The white flakes obtained are then treated with carbon disulphide until the sodium cellulose xantogenate is formed. The xantogenate is soluble in diluted sodium hydroxide and the formed solution (pulp) is already called viscose. The pulp then needs to be spun. Spinning consists in coagulating the xantogenate solution at the outlet of the spinneret in an acid bath containing sulphuric acid, sodium sulphate and zinc sulphate.

2.1.1.7 Cupro (CU) Cellulose (wood pulp) can also be dissolved in an aqueous solution of ammonia and copper sulphate. Cupro fibres are produced by wet spinning.

–  –  –

2.1.1.8 Acetate fibres The cellulose molecule contains 3 alcohol groups. When between 2 and 2.5 of the 3 groups are esterified with acetic acid, the polymer is called diacetate. When all the three alcohol groups are esterified then the polymer is called triacetate. The acetate fibres contain less that 92 % of cellulose acetate, but at least 74 % of the hydroxilic groups must be acetylated.





2.1.1.9 Wool

Wool is an animal hair from the body of sheep. This hair is normally sheared once, or sometimes twice, a year and its quality and quantity varies widely, depending on the breed of sheep and its environment. Wool is a member of a group of proteins known as keratin, also found in horns, nails, etc.

In addition to wool fibre, raw wool contains:

–  –  –

· Residues of insecticides, acaricides or insect growth regulators used as veterinary medicines to protect sheep from ectoparasites, such as lice, mites, blowfly, etc.

The percentage of the above-mentioned components may vary widely depending on the origin of wool. For example, fine wool from merino sheep, used mainly in apparel, typically contains 13 % wool grease, whereas coarser wool of the types used for carpets contains an average of about 5 % grease.

The clean fibre content of raw wool usually lies within the 60 to 80 % range, but may vary from 40 to 90 %.

Wool grease is insoluble in water, but soluble in non-polar solvents such as dichloromethane or hexane. Refined wool grease is a valuable by-product.

Suint is water-soluble material arising from the secretion of the sweat glands in the skin. Suint is soluble in polar solvent such as water and alcohol.

Dirt can include a variety of materials such as mineral dirt, sands, clay, dust and organic materials.

Ectoparasiticides have important implications for the discharge of raw wool scouring effluent and disposal of the sludge generated by the treatment of the effluent. The chemicals known to

be present in raw wool include:

–  –  –

The organochlorines are hazardous due to their persistence and bioaccumulability. They are thus likely to have long-range effects (in terms of both distance from the source and time after release). γ-Hexachlorocyclohexane (also called lindane) is the most toxic (and also the most active as pesticide) of the hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (α- and β-HCHs). The technical crude product contains α- and β-HCH, the β-isomer being the most persistent. Lindane and DDT compounds are well-studied substances with demonstrated endocrine disrupting capacity.

The synthetic pyrethroid insecticides show high aquatic toxicity (predicted no-effect concentration for cypermethrin is estimated at 0.0001 µg/l, while the corresponding value for the OPs diazinon and propetamphos is 0.01 µg/l – UK environmental quality standards expressed as annual average). Organophosphates have lower aquatic toxicity than synthetic pyrethroids and are less persistent than organochlorines. Nevertheless they have high human toxicity (problems may therefore arise for example, for dyers with steam volatile OPs) [279, L.

Bettens, 2001].

All major grower countries have banned the use of organochlorine pesticides for sheep treatment, but there is evidence that wool from some former Soviet Union States and South America contain lindane at detectable concentrations. This would suggest that either their grazing is heavily contaminated or that this compound continues to be used occasionally for sheep treatment against ectoparasites.

Wool from the majority of grower nations contains residual sheep treatment medicines which are used legally to control infestations of lice, ticks and mites. These materials may be organophosphates, typically diazinon, propetamphos and trans-chlorfenvinphos, synthetic pyrethroids, typically cypermethrin and insect growth regulators such as cyromazine. The incidence of these materials on wool is variable and depends on the permitted legal use pattern in each country.

Manufacturers can use a database containing quantitative information on the OC, OP and SP content of wool from major producing countries. ENco maintains one such database.

Manufacturers use these data to avoid processing wool from suspect sources. The system is of immediate benefit to manufacturers who purchase and process wool from known sources.

Commission processors of either loose fibre or yarn may be not aware of the origin of the fibre they are processing and so find it more difficult to control their raw material inputs using this approach.

More information regarding ectoparasiticides is reported in Section 2.3.1 where the wool scouring process is discussed.

2.1.1.10 Silk Silk accounts for only 0.2 % of the total fibre production. Nevertheless, this fibre is very important for specific "niche" articles such as ladies' shirts, jackets and scarves.

–  –  –

Silk is derived from the silk worm, which spins a cocoon around itself. It is a protein fibre like wool and it is the only natural filament fibre to be used with success in the textile industry (the length of the thread is in the range of 700 to 1500m).

The silk fibre is composed of fibroin filaments wrapped with sericine (silk gum), which has to be removed during the pretreatment.

2.1.1.11 Cotton and flax Cotton fibre consists mainly of cellulose and some other components, as shown below.

–  –  –

Table 2.1: Chemical composition of cotton fibre Cotton production may use chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and defoliants and these may remain as a residue on raw cotton fibres that reach the textile mill.

However, this is of little concern for the textile industry (the problem is rather with the growers). In fact, tests of cotton samples from around the world, performed from 1991 to 1993, reported levels of pesticides below the threshold limit values for foodstuffs [11, US EPA, 1995].

Other sources ([207, UK, 2001]) report that a few years ago bails of cotton were found to be contaminated with pentachlorophenol from its use not only as a defoliant, but also as a fungicide applied on the bales of cotton during transport.

Flax is a bast fibre. Many economic factors have contributed to this fibre losing much of its previous importance. Nevertheless flax remains a noble fibre with a wide range of applications.

2.1.2 Chemicals & auxiliaries A huge number of organic dyestuffs/pigments and auxiliaries are applied in the textile industry.

In this document they will be divided into the following categories:

· dyestuffs and pigments · basic chemicals (also known as “Commodities”), which include all inorganic chemicals and organic reducing and oxidising agents as well as the aliphatic organic acids · auxiliaries, which comprise all textile auxiliaries containing mainly organic compounds except organic reducing and oxidising agents and organic aliphatic acids. They are also known as “Specialities” - blends and proprietary formulations whose composition is not fully disclosed.

To give an idea of the variety of products available on the market (in particular, auxiliaries), it is worth noting that in the "2000 Textile Auxiliaries Buyers' Guide" more than 7000 commercial products are reported, based on 400 to 600 active components. They are classified according to the well-established TEGEWA nomenclature, according to their functional use in the production process, although the chemical nature of these products is too varied to allocate them unequivocally to one category.

–  –  –

For practical reasons the information about dyestuffs and textile auxiliaries is reported in this document in separate annexes (see Section 8 and Section 9).

2.1.3 Materials handling and storage Basic fibrous raw materials arrive on site in press-packed bales and are stored in covered warehousing, which may also be used to store and dispatch finished goods to customers.

Basic chemical intermediates, acids, alkalis and bulk auxiliary chemicals are normally held within a bound or contained storage area. Large bulk containers may be situated in the open.

High value and moisture- or environmentally-sensitive materials are normally transferred directly to the preparation area ("colour kitchen") from where they are dispensed.

Some synthetic organic colourants are regarded as a potential health hazard. Therefore colour kitchens are normally equipped with air extraction and filter systems to suppress dust levels in the workplace during dispensing.

The chemicals (dyestuffs, pigments, basic chemicals and auxiliaries) are metered out either in powder form or as solutions. This operation can be done manually or with computer-aided metering devices.

The required measured amounts of products must in general be dispersed, diluted or mixed before being fed to the finishing machinery. Various systems are found in the industry, ranging from completely manual procedures to fully automatic ones. In the case of manual systems the prepared chemicals are added directly into the machine or in a storage container near the equipment, from which they are then pumped into the machine. In larger companies the chemicals are usually mixed in a central mixing station, from which they are supplied to the various machines through a network of pipes. The quantities and the addition of chemicals and auxiliaries are normally called up automatically according to predetermined programmes (further details about dosing and dispensing systems are given in Section 4.1.3).

2.2 Fibre manufacturing: chemical (man-made) fibres Man-made fibres are typically extruded into continuous filaments. The continuous filaments can

then be:

· used directly (in general, following further shaping or texturing) · cut into staple length and then spun in a process resembling the one used for wool or cotton (see Section 2.4).

Three main methods are used to produce the continuous filaments (primary spinning):

· melt spinning · dry spinning · wet spinning.

Melt spinning: The polymer is melted in a melt-extruder. The liquid is forced through the spinner opening under pressure and cooled by a jet of air to form the filament. A spinning preparation (spin finish) is generally applied at the bottom of the spinning duct. The melting process is suitable for thermoplastic fibres such as polyester, polyamide, polyolefins (e.g.

polypropylene) and glass fibre.

Dry spinning: The polymer is dissolved in a solvent. The dissolved polymer is extruded through a spinneret into a chamber of heated air or gas where the solvents evaporates and the filament forms. This filament is further after-treated with a spin finish. The dry spinning process is principally used for acetate, triacetate and polyacrylonitrile.

22 Textiles Industry

Chapter 2



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