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Characteristics of Textile Sludge Obtained from Nuziveedu Seeds Limited,

Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh

K Anand Kumar, P Prabhu Prasadini, G Ramachandra Rao and G Kishore Babu

Department of Environmental Science, Advanced Post Graduate Centre, Lam, Guntur.


An experiment was conducted to study the characteristics of textile sludge obtained from Nuziveedu Seeds Limited, Chandole of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. The textile sludge was collected and shade dried for physico-chemical and chemical analysis in department of Environmental Science. Analytical data showed that the textile sludge was neutral in reaction (pH of 7.18) with EC of 1.93 dS m-1 and organic carbon content of 13.41percent. The textile sludge was found to have high organic carbon percent. N, P and K contents of textile sludge were 2.6, 0.2, and 2.8%, respectively. Micronutrients namely Zn, Fe, Mn and Cu were found to be 19.5, 468.1, 32.0 and 24.3 ppm were within permissible limits. Whereas in case of heavy metals Cd content has exceeded SEPA limits. However Cr content was found to be higher than Municipal Solid Waste Rules and all others was within permissible limits. This indicates that various other options can be explored for its suitable management other than the conventionally used options like landfilling.

Keywords: Characteristics,  Physic-chemical, Textile sludge,

India has several industrial sectors, among that textile industry is the oldest. There are about 21076 textile units in India, out of which Tamilnadu has the highest, 5285 units followed by Maharashtra.
And more than 700 large textile mills are mainly concentrated in Ahmadabad, Bombay, Tirpur, Erode, Coimbatore, Kanpur and Delhi. The suspended and dissolved solids along with those added during the wastewater treatment process, are separated in the form of settleable solids called sludge.
A textile unit processing 3-4 tons of yarn or fabric is liable to generate 50 kg of sludge per day (Ansari and Thakur, 2001). Large volumes of organic waste is generated by the textile industry and released into the environment. Sludge can become a problem if it is improperly managed or disposed off. Concerns about environmental quality have led to the introduction of alternative disposal methods such as the use as nutrient source to plants and as soil conditioners. The use of textile sludge in agricultural lands can be justified as an appropriate destination for waste recycling as it normally contains high organic matter, N, P, K and micronutrients contents as reported by Balan and Monteiro (2001).

MATERIAL AND METHODS Sludge collection
Textile sludge was collected from
NSL textiles, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Sludge analysis
The pH was determined in 1:5 sludge water suspension i.e., 20 g of sludge in 100 mL of distilled water using combined glass electrode pH meter. EC of sludge was measured in the supernatant of 1:5 ratio sludge water suspension with EC bridge (Jackson, 1973). Organic carbon content of the sludge was estimated by the wet digestion method (Walkley and Black, 1934). Available Nitrogen content estimated by Bremner (1965) method and was expressed in kg ha-1. Sludge digested with diacid mixture (9:4) was used for determination of P, K, micronutrients and heavy metals (Lindsay and Norvell, 1978).

The results of analysis of textile sludge of NSL, Guntur presented in table 1 showed its physico-chemical & chemical properties. The analytical data of sludge revealed that it was neutral in reaction with a pH of 7.18 had EC of 1.93 dS m-1 and organic carbon content of 13.41percent. These results were in conformity with the results of Araujo et al. (2007) and Hammadi et al. (2007) who reported a pH of 6.8 and 7.05 for textile sludge, respectively. Parameswari and Udayasoorian (2013) reported

high EC value of 4.53 dS m-1. Patel and Pandey (2008) and Pandey et al. (2011) also reported high organic carbon values in the sludge generated in CETPs of Rajasthan and Tamilnadu.
The major nutrients namely N, P and K contents of textile sludge were 2.6, 0.2 and 2.8%, respectively. Similar values were reported by Krishnamoorthy et al. (2015). The examination of the data on total heavy metals showed the order of Fe > Cr > Ni > Mn > Cu > Pb > Zn > Cd. Micronutrients viz., Zn, Fe, Mn and Cu were recorded as 19.5, 468.1, 32.0 and 24.3 ppm, respectively. Rosa et al. (2007) reported micronutrients in textile sludge to the extent of 937.70, 3942, 30.64 and 40.14 ppm of Zn, Fe, Mn and Cu, respectively. The permissible level given by different nations is presented in the Table 3. Well documented studies disclosed that heavy metals such as Zinc (Zn) and Copper (Cu) are principal elements restricting the use of sludge for agricultural purposes (Udom et al., 2004; Dai et al., 2007). But in the textile sludge studied, the Cu content was 24.3 mg kg-1 and Zn content was 19.5 mg kg-1 which was lower than permissible limits set for China and India. Sludge contained heavy metals namely Pb, Ni, Cd and Cr to the extent of 22.6, 37.6, 4.5 and 106.6 ppm, respectively. Similar ranges of values were reported by Patel and Pandey (2008) and Islam et al. (2009). Maddumapatsbandi et al. (2014) and Pandey et al. (2011) also reported presence of heavy metals in textile sludge.
The heavy metals content was compared with different standards as shown in Table 2 and 3. The content of Pb, Cr, Zn, Cu and Mn in textile sludge were below the permissible limits as prescribed by Awashthi (2000) and State environmental protection Administration (1995) as shown in Table 2, whereas Cd was found to be higher than the SEPA limit.

Comparison of the heavy metal content in the sludge studied with the allowable limits for heavy metals of biosolids for land application as shown in table 3, indicated that the heavy metals viz., Pb, Ni, Cr, Cd, Cu and Zn present in textile sludge were below the permissible limits prescribed by USEPA - 503 rules (1993), Commission of European Communities (1980) and Ministry of Environment & Forests (2000). However, Ni, Cr and Cd were close to the limit as prescribed by Ministry of Environment & Forests indicating that its continuous application to soil might be hazardous.
In order to ensure safe application of compost, the standards laid down in the notification on Municipal Solid Wastes (Management & Handling) Rules, 1999 notified on 27th September, 2000 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, for Production of compost are given in the table 3. The comparison revealed that the content of Cr in sludge was higher than permissible limit, Cd was on par and Ni was close to the permissible limit. Contents of Pb, Zn and Cu were well within the limits.
The textile sludge was obtained after physico-chemical treatment from textile wastewater treatment plant in the NSL, textiles. It was characterized for different physico-chemical parameters and heavy metals. The characterization data indicates the neutral nature of textile sludge having high conductivity and also having high organic carbon, N, P and K contents. Micronutrients and heavy metals present in textile sludge were within the permissible limits. Whereas Cd was higher than the State Environmental Protection Administration permissible limit and Cr was also higher than the Municipal Solid Waste rules. Sludge is generated in huge quantity which is being labelled as hazardous sludge as per the Hazardous Waste and Management and Handling (Amendment rules, 2003), which makes the sludge management process further important. Therefore, an economically sound and environmental-friendly solution like composting the sludge using microbial consortium may be tested for its safe disposal for productive purposes.
Table.2 A comparison of heavy metal content (mg kg-1) in sludge with permissible limits
MetalPresent studyPermissible limit in Indiaa

The application of textile sludge showed improvement in soil properties, and microbial load in soil. Hence, textile sludge can be advocated as a soil conditioner wherever appropriate safety and application regulations are respected.
Although sludge is sometimes criticised for containing potentially high levels of metals or contaminants, sludge can serve as a valuable and often much needed source of nutrients, application of which on land may be less expensive and highly effective than inappropriate disposal. However, it needs strategies or promising composting techniques for its use in agriculture without environmental risk.
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