Volume No. 2 Issue No.: 3 Page No.: 329-339 January-March 2008




Hema Patel*1 and Suneel Pandey2

1. TERI University, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi (India)
2. Centre for Regulatory and Policy Research, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (India)


Received on : July 28, 2007




The voluminous amount, toxic nature and restricted land area for disposal makes environment management of chemical sludge generated from Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) for textile dyeing and printing process wastewater a major challenge. These sludges are classified as hazardous waste as per the Indian rules and uncontrolled disposal of this waste poses significant risk and adverse impact on health, aesthetics and the environment. Therefore finding a suitable management option requires an extensive characterisation for all physico-chemical parameters and heavy metals so that a suitable option can be selected for the disposal assessment. Textile chemical sludge in the present study was collected from four CETPs treating textile wastewater from a large group of small- scale textile dyeing and printing clusters in Balotra and Pali in Rajasthan and Manikapuram and Mannarai CETPs in Tirupur in Tamilnadu. The sludges were examined for different physico-chemical parameters including heavy metals to devise a plan for its management. The characterisation data indicates that sludge is alkaline in nature with high electrical conductivity values. There is high variability in values of Total organic carbon (TOC) ranging from 1.23 to 17.83 % and calorific value ranging from Nil to 2066.33 Kcal/Kg. Most of this data was found to be comparable with the literature data value. The concentrations of heavy metals Cr, Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and Co when compared with the Indian rules reveal that all the heavy metals are less than the regulatory limits for all the sampling sites. This indicates that sludge is non-hazardous in nature and various other options can be explored for its suitable management other than the conventionally used options like landfilling. The Indian rules classify these textile sludges under hazardous category whereas the present analysis reveals the non-hazardous nature of sludge as all analytes of concern are within the specified limits. Thus the Indian Hazardous Waste Management rules further needs reconsideration regarding this aspect.


Keywords : Textile industry; Chemical sludge, Characterisation, Waste management, Physicochemical parameters