OSIJEK, Croatiz — October 21, 2015 — Olimpias Group, a company controlled by the Benetton family, has opened the first European water treatment plant capable to recover up to 100-percent of the dyeing plant processed water.
Before renewing the water treatment plant the textile factory in Osijek, Croatia, used 1,600 m3/day of water where only 10.5 percent was coming from recovery treatments. Today, thanks to the innovations introduced, the percentage of the recovered water has increased to about 70 percent, or 1,000 m3/day. In this way the water taken from the well is considerably reduced (today less than 600 m3/day), with obvious environmental benefits and industrial cost reduction. By way of example, 1,000 m3 of water are the equivalent daily use of a population of 7,000 individuals.
The treatment plant is able to recover gradually, up to 100 percent of the water used and this is the most tangible result of the Wasatex (Water Saving Process for Textile) project financed by the European Union as part of the Eco-Innovation programme, with the involvement of companies specialized in engineering systems and water treatment processes, Aspel and Europrogetti from Padua.
“In our vision there cannot be sustainability without innovation,” said Gianni Zanella, CEO, Olimpias Group. “Revolutionizing the treatment of the processes water we can significantly reduce water and energy consumption resulting in an important positive impact on the environment, costs savings and improved finished product thanks to the higher quality of the reused water. The project is part of a broader strategy that the company started years ago to support its eco-friendly supply chain. It began with the elimination from our processes of all chemicals harmful for the environment and health.”
The pre-existing plant could effectively remove only the organic substances but could not treat the inorganic components such as hardness, alkalinity, silica, chlorides, sulphates and heavy metals. Therefore it was impossible to use the outlet water in production.
The new purifying unit includes a number of advanced technologies such as a membrane bioreactor, resin bleaching filters and softeners filters in addition to a reverse osmosis system capable of producing a water technically perfect and stable, with very low values of hardness and TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). Moreover, the nanofiltration system allows to recover the brine (NaCl) to be reuse in the dying plant and, finally, the OX system allows to reduce the end discharge, destroying and then remove the complex molecules with high molecular weight, such as COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) and color.
The project also allows a considerable energy savings. The purified water has, in fact, an average temperature of 30°C compared to the 15°C of the well water, hence the energy required for heating in the dyeing baths is significantly reduced and, ultimately, there is as a consequence a further reduction of production costs.
Significant are also the benefits in terms of CO2 equivalent reduction, that are above 1,250 tons per year.
Finally, the project Wasatex allows an improvement in finished product quality, since the purified and recirculated water guarantees a high colour fastness and reduces the use of detergents and auxiliaries.
The Osijek plant can be visited upon request.
Posted October 27, 2015