The use of ozone for fabric treatment and nanobubble technology for garment finishing is able to reduce the chemical & water consumption
Both technologies promote a new vision of the textile industry.
- Ozone ‘Dynamic’ technology is able to use only electric power and air for fabric finishing.
- Nanobubble ‘eFlow’ technology is able to treat raw garments and apply different chemicals, transferring them employing micro-nanobubbles (MNB) as the vehicle of the chemical products, which can get inside the fibres directly.
These technologies, taken as a GP, are not difficult to implement or operate. Skills on textile processes, textile finishing, engineering and chemistry would be required.
Fabric finishing using ozone ‘Dynamic’ technology
Background of this part of the GP comes from eco-washers of garments that use ozone to soften or reduce colour in clothing producing and ‘sun-washing’ effect. Significant energy savings of water and the elimination of the need for toxic processes associated with bleaching were found.
Garment finishing using nanobubble ‘eFlow’ technology
This part of the GP is referred to garment finishing. Current technologies for garment finishing are based on distributing the chemicals in a bath inside of industrial washing machines. Hence, great amounts of water, chemicals and energy are needed.
An estimation of funding for set up and run this ozone technology could be: 350k - 400k €. Nanobubble technology for garment finishing (softening, functionalization, dyeing): 75k - 125k €.
Human resources: mechanical engineers and textile engineers. Both systems are very easy to operate.
Evidence of success
This practice is considered good as the R&D project results have been successfully industrialized and implemented in textile companies. For example: for nanobubble garment finishing technology 3 different processes (softening, functionalization and dyeing) are set-up in the same machine and validated. Quantified savings are:
• Savings up to 50% of chemical products
• Reduction of 86% of water consumption
• Reduction of 44% of energy consumption
• Elimination of 97% of wastewater
Potential for learning or transfer
Key success factors for transferring are:
•Technologies/results proven not only at R&D stage but also at industrial level.
•Restrictive legislation not applicable. GP fits environmental legislation and policies of different EU countries.
•Funding required for implementation, size of the machinery and auxiliary installation devices are not so high.
•Key competitive technologies that provide not only environmental benefits (reduction of chemicals, water saving, less waste-water released, etc.) but also competitive benefits against processes and end-products developed by emerging non-EU countries.
•Possibilities to launch R&D and cooperation projects at national/EU level.
For nanobubble technology, transferring was done -firstly- in the frame of MNB-ECOFINISHING CIP-Ecoinnovation project: Pizarro S.A. (Portugal) was involved to scale-up the nano-bubble technology to the real industrial processes. Transferring has also been done to AITEX (Spain)