Background Report by Finnish Environment Institute & Federation of Finninsh Textile and Clothing Industries

Executive Summary

This study was carried out in major Finnish textile companies in order to create an environmental impact profile for wet processing in Finland as a part of drafting the Best Available Technique (BAT) Reference documents for the European IPPC-bureau.

Over 100 companies received the questionnaire prepared in co-operation with the Finnish Apparel and Textile organisation, FINATEX, and over 50 companies answered. Five major textile companies with wet processing capacity exceeding about 5 tonnes per day, were selected for system boundary definitions.

None of the Finnish companies' treatment capacity does, however, exceed 10 tonnes a day as specified in section 6.2 of Annex 1 of directive 96/61/ EC. One company with wet treatments for mainly 100% synthetic fabrics was also included to the research even if the production capacity does not exceed 5 tonnes a day.

System boundaries were defined for alternative process technologies based on the results of the survey, presented in Tables 1 and 2. The use of resources and process emissions are, however, monitored for the whole wet processing only in the companies under study.

No remarkable differences in energy and water consumption between continuous and batch wet processing could be measured.

Lowest dyeing liquor ratios were reported on jet machines and highest on winch dyeing machines. Dyestuff consumption depends on the colour shade required; some dyes have, however, low fixation rates, such as reactive and sulphur dyes, only 60% on average.

About 20% of the process liquor containing unfixed dyestuffs and auxiliaries end in sewage treatments. These chemicals are not recovered and reused in the companies under study. All industrial plants in Finland lead their waste-water to municipal sewage treatment plants, which carry out wastewater analysing and control. All textile plants, which use more than 50 tonnes organic solvents per year, are under official off-gas control in Finland.

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