BULETIN TEXTILE.COM/ Jakarta – The textile industry is one of the country’s foreign exchange earners. In carrying out activities in large and small industries requires a lot of water and chemicals. One of the important processes in garment production is the washing or laundry process, which is also included in the denim production process. This process can produce discoloration and produce liquid waste in the form of faded dyes which can pollute the environment.
Dye contamination from the process has a strong power and can have a very bad impact on the environment. This shows that waste from textile industry activities is a problem that must be taken seriously. The facts regarding textile waste have raised concerns for all parties, including seeking solutions to deal with the problem effectively.
Textile factory waste, including denim product washing factories, is a source of COD, BOD, TDS, TSS, high turbidity, etc. This directly labels the textile industry as an entity that is not environmentally friendly. Referring to these problems, researchers have tried to develop solution technologies to solve these problems. One of the technologies proposed is a method of washing clothes or denim products using ozone (O3).
An international corporation called JeanologiaTM claims to have been a pioneer in the development of technology for washing denim products using ozone compounds (O3). The Spanish company claims to have succeeded in developing this and producing tens of thousands of prototype units of machines with ozone technology to several countries in the world.
Researchers revealed that the process of washing denim products using ozone has provided advantages compared to conventional washing processes. Some of the advantages presented include:
- The main advantage of liquid waste is that it has a much clearer color compared to the conventional denim washing process.
- A process that requires very little water, thus saving up to 95% of water compared to conventional denim washing processes.
- Can save up to 80% energy and produce 40% less carbon footprint than conventional processes.
- It saves chemicals because the ozone compounds used in the process can be produced sustainably through an ozone generator.
- When ozone has reacted with textile materials (for example denim), it does not produce by-products in the form of waste. Ozone can be easily neutralized by heating it to 300o.
Researchers claim that this breakthrough is in line with the vision of empowering clean technology for industry in Spain. Clean technology is one of the proposals put forward as a solution to this problem. Clean technology means that all products, services and processes are directed at making use of environmentally friendly materials and renewable energy sources, so as to drastically reduce the use of irreplaceable natural resources and reduce waste and waste emissions. Based on this, the washing process using ozone assistance can be categorized as clean technology, especially in industrial activities with denim washing processes.
How Ozone can be formed?
Ozone (O3) is a gaseous compound that is generally present in the earth’s atmosphere as a protective layer. Ozone is formed naturally through a photochemical reaction involving ultraviolet light emitted by the sun and oxygen gas that is on earth, so that this process will produce ozone in the earth’s atmosphere. Apart from being formed naturally, ozone can also be produced artificially by using discharge plasma technology which ionizes the gas in the plasma chamber.
The ozone process can be carried out by compressing oxygen into a tube, then an electric current will be applied to the tube to break down oxygen molecules (O2) and produce free oxygen atoms (O*). The free oxygen atom will recombine with other oxygen (O2) and form bonds, which will produce ozone gas compounds (O3). The process can be written according to the following chemical reaction equation:
In a series of denim product improvement processes, ozone can be produced artificially using the plasma discharge technology method. However, due to the relatively short half-life of ozone compounds, ozone cannot be stored for a very long time because it will disintegrate and turn back into oxygen. Due to its short half-life, researchers found that ozone must be formed just before use. This means that the ozone that has been formed artificially must be used directly on the fabric to obtain an efficient process.
The Process of Perfecting Denim Products Using Ozone
The G2D Dynamic type machine made by JeanologiaTM has a production speed of up to 8 – 50 meters/minute and can process fabrics up to 1000 – 2350 mm wide. Researchers revealed that the developed process can produce denim washing quality that is as good as conventional processes. In fact, the effect of ozonation has a higher whitening effect compared to ordinary processes.
The oxidation potential of ozone compounds in the bleaching process is 2.07 electron Volt (eV), much higher than that of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which is only 1.77 eV. This means that the ozone process can produce potential denim washing processes that are more effective than conventional processes in general.
This shows that the ozone (O3) system can produce fabrics with competitive quality when compared to conventional washing systems.
Besides good quality, this ozone process also produces clearer residual laundry wastewater than conventional washing systems. Researchers also revealed that the COD and BOD values of ozone washing waste have a smaller value compared to conventional process washing waste. This shows that the ozone washing process can produce waste that is more environmentally friendly than conventional processes.
The machine process has also been modernized with a control panel to set several important parameters, such as fabric speed, ozone concentration, temperature, pressure, etc. This is claimed to be able to support the process of operating the ozone washing machine when used in industrial units and can maintain the quality and quality of the fabric produced.
(Red B-Teks/Agung Haryanto)