Potential Reuse of Chemical Sludge from Textile Dyeing Processes

  • S. PandeyEmail author
  • H. Patel
  • R. Johri
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 18)


The textile industry plays a significant role in the Indian economy. The combined textile effluent from dyeing and printing clusters is treated in common effluent treatment plants (CETP) where the physicochemical treatment of the wastewater leads to the generation of chemical sludge in voluminous quantities. This sludge is considered a hazardous waste according to the Indian Hazardous Waste Management rules of 2008. Presently, the only option available to CETP operators for the disposal of this waste is a secure landfill, but this represents a costly option for them. The case study presented here attempts to find an environment-friendly and a cost-effective solution for the management of this chemical sludge. Sludge samples from various CETPs spread across the India were collected and they were physicochemically characterized; toxicity and microstructural aspects were also taken into consideration. To evaluate the suitability of the sludge as construction material, a solidification/stabilization (S/S) treatment of the chemical sludge was carried out using two binders: Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and Portland Pozzolona Cement (PPC). The evaluation of the solidified samples was carried out by considering their physical engineering properties, such as unconfined compressive strength and block density, and its chemical properties, such as leachability of heavy metals. A microstructural examination of the solidified samples was also performed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Characterization results revealed that the sludge samples were alkaline and had high electrical conductivity values. The concentration of heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd, and Pb) in the dried sludge, as well as in the leachate, was found to be less than that present in the prescribed limits (Indian Hazardous Waste Rules for sludge samples and US EPA limits for leachate). Oxides, such as SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MgO, and SO3, were present in a significant amount. Unconfined strength and block density data of the solidified blocks indicated that the chemical sludge had potential to be used as a construction material for different kinds of applications. The microstructural examination of the solidified samples indicated a modification of the cement patterns.


Chemical sludge Compressive strength Leaching Sludge reuse Solidification Stabilization 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Energy and Resources InstituteIndia Habitat CentreNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.TERI UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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