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redratus t1_jdhk739 wrote

Thats good but why don’t they just regulate the textile industry so they don’t dump their toxic dyes in the drinking water?

And is 80% really that good?


YouAreGenuinelyDumb t1_jdhsmu6 wrote

80% can be good, but it’s pretty dependent on what it is. Off the top of my head, I would think that an 80% removal would be helpful if other, more effective methods have lower throughput. So you could do bulk removal through this method, followed by further purification. This would be helpful if throughput is limited by the amount of contamination vs volume of water to purify.


Kaeny t1_jdl5lwp wrote

Just keep doing that 80% until it is diluted enough or filtered enough. 80% of 20% is 16%, so you have 4% left, then you have 0.8% left ezpz

Idk if this works it is most likely wrong


Asnyd421 t1_jdhrywg wrote

That'd take both politicians with brains and spines. Why stop a problem when you can be paid to ignore it AND paid by a company that works to solve it.


camisado84 t1_jdinp7d wrote

So what are you going to do about that?


SoftlySpokenPromises t1_jdiom6l wrote

To do something we'd either need to be in a position of extreme influence, or be disgustingly rich. Even if they were to be a politician they'd have to content with the rest of the political forces being paid off by lobby groups.


camisado84 t1_jdjch3m wrote

I am not trying to be antagonistic, but that's patently not true. If you get involved in local politics you would find out how disgustingly little is done to try to influence change.

I was involved with a local campaign that came within 1 or 2% of unseating an senatorial incumbent with a 80k budget, the opposition had 1M+ in the coffers and was in the seat for nearly 3 decades.


alt_rhapsody t1_jdk0bq6 wrote

Hope is hard to find when you're seeing history repeat itself for the millionth time


Asnyd421 t1_jdtd48h wrote

You're 100% right, sorry you're on blast. We absolutely need to keep using any and all political power we have to steer elections and politicians the way we want. Whining on the internet is only a part of the solution, blasting your politicial leaders' inboxes is the other part.


TheLurkerSpeaks t1_jdhtitd wrote

They don't dump toxic dye into drinking water. That's already very illegal.

In the USA, these industries are regulated by their local wastewater authority. They will have some pretreatment policy regarding these dyes.

This article is detailing a breakthrough treatment technology. Once this becomes industry standard it will likely be written into those pretreatment policies.


CCC19 t1_jdhzx72 wrote

I'm not going to say whether they're dumping dyes into drinking water supplies because I don't know. However, legality has never stopped companies from dumping waste, toxic or otherwise. When the punishment is almost exclusively ever a fine, they can and do budget for it.


nopropulsion t1_jdif2l8 wrote

There is a thing called "Significant Noncompliance" trust me that an industry does not want to fall into that status.

The regulatory agency at that point can levy steep fines for each day that they remain out of compliance. Regulators in that situation can levy penalties proportional to the cost benefit of not treating. So if the regulators figure that you are saving $100,000 a day by not treating, they may be able to fine that amount if you are significantly noncompliant.

I work in this industry, I'm a consultant that gets hired by businesses to design treatment systems to stay compliant.


JohnnyBravoIsMyWaifu t1_jdigqhq wrote

I work as an industrial pretreatment inspector. I wish my management had the balls to put dischargers into SNC and fine them.


nopropulsion t1_jdihnff wrote

I think the state (or EPA if they oversee your programs) are supposed to do annual audits or review annual reports. I'm not personally familiar with how things work on the regulator's side of things, but I'm pretty sure people will be asking questions at that point if you've got serious noncompliance issues.

I will say that there are some times where fines are preferable for both parties. A parameter like BOD or TSS, which is not likely to harm a wastewater treatment plant, is where I see this. Typically that is built into the permit in which a municipality just straight up charges extra after a certain amount.


ba123blitz t1_jdiz0z3 wrote

Okay that’s possible but often does it actually happen? when it does happen what are the odds it was prolonged and delayed as much as possible?


nopropulsion t1_jdj9hwo wrote

As I mentioned above, my job is to design treatment systems to maintain compliance. So yes it does happen.

Something I didn't mention is that if you meet the requirements for significant noncompliance, the regulator/municipality is then required to provide public notice of the noncompliance. So they call out the company in the local newspaper.


ba123blitz t1_jdjcyk9 wrote

Are you Fr? Name and shame in the newspaper in 2023?

no wonder the planet is rapidly going down.


nopropulsion t1_jdjigqq wrote

It is in the local public record. This is why it is good to have local strong media. If it someone is seriously polluting, it will get picked up. Just because you don't follow your local media, doesn't mean that others don't.

Where do you suggest they post it?


nopropulsion t1_jdjk8eq wrote

I can't respond to your other comment, but your response to my question asking where they should post was "social media. "

Okay, which social media platform? Does an Instagram story suffice? What if you miss the story?

Do you follow your local municipality on social media? What about your water company?

You need to realize the laws were written a while ago. Despite that, public notice in a newspaper is better than a random Facebook post, because you are just as unlikely to see that as something in the paper.

People in the know about these things (professionals, activists, journalists) know to check local publications for this information.


ba123blitz t1_jdjly2t wrote

In my other comment I specified Facebook and twitter and yes I follow my county, my counties sheriff, the accounts for each nearby town, accounts for my county and neighboring counties emergency management accounts and the local newspaper in the counties capital on both platforms.

For the emergency alert accounts I keep all post notifications on so I know as soon as something happens. Most common are the 3 levels for winter travel, level 3 meaning 90% of people have to stay home to keep roads clear for police,fire,ems, and snowplow/medical/electrical workers

When they make a post even if I don’t see it right away I can go to their account and view it much easier afterwards than trying to find something in last weeks paper.

I do realize the laws are old. That means they need updating, everyone lives in a digital age now and the fastest way to get info to people is through their smartphones.

Do we send out amber alerts to every phone in the area or do we put them in the paper?


typesett t1_jdi9lvw wrote

“Has never stopped”

Is different than “companies sometimes break the law”


dream_the_endless t1_jdi99gs wrote

This is not targeted for US based manufacturers. First two sentences of the article:

> Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new method that can easily purify contaminated water using a cellulose-based material. This discovery could have implications for countries with poor water treatment technologies and combat the widespread problem of toxic dye discharge from the textile industry.


YouAreGenuinelyDumb t1_jdiyiqk wrote

If it’s effective enough, it will be useful anywhere. The excerpt you quoted might just simply be a way of marketing it so people are interested. “This can help poor people” is an effective way to garner interest in your work.


dream_the_endless t1_jdj5iwp wrote

80% may not be an improvement over what currently exists in developed nations with strict pollution controls, but could be a vast improvement over places that are currently not doing anything.

I’d would be surprised if developed nations allowed as much as 20% of all pollutants from toxic dyes pass through untreated.


YouAreGenuinelyDumb t1_jdja0ul wrote

This would not be the whole treatment process. I don’t think any nation does it all in one step.


Dave5876 t1_jdi1bre wrote

They should have these laws in Michigan


thaddeusd t1_jdi3mpq wrote

We do. And they are enforced.

But like the previous poster implied, for CWA violations, the legal system maybe gives out damages at 10% of the calculated fines and at most a year in prison.

See US, et al.v. OIL CHEM INC.


BeefcaseWanker t1_jdint8r wrote

If only we had enforcement for the pollution taking place in the Huron River


Dave5876 t1_jdj3zx7 wrote

Isn’t that bad and needs to be changed?


Tchrspest t1_jdi4t50 wrote

Who is "they" in this? Is "they" to be taken as "all of the global textile industry" as a whole? Because "they" absolutely do in India and other countries. Just per the article.


Archmagnance1 t1_jdiq4v4 wrote

>they don't because its illegal

Duke energy paid for this comment i see


chameleon_circuit t1_jdhynsc wrote

A lot of times these faculties are hooked up to a municipal sewer system. They have to ‘pretreat’ their wastewater before dumping it into the system. This step could be done before it even hits the sewers.


withmybeerhands t1_jdi6o6e wrote

We need to internalize externalities. Close the loop so that producers are responsible for the fate of their products: plastic bottles, packaging, bags, technology. From production to end of life, all of it.


toothofjustice t1_jdiajqb wrote

They should be treating their waste before tendering it to a hazmat carrier for proper disposal. This will make treatment cheaper and easier, which is a good thing because lowering barriers for companies to be compliant without impacting safety means that more companies will be in compliance.


Chapped_Frenulum t1_jdilg43 wrote

This is definitely the ideal solution. Force them to remove their dyes form their wastewater long before it makes it to the treatment facility.

The thing that makes enforcement difficult is that wastewater treatment can be very complicated and not economically feasible for each manufacturer to do on-site. If it's prohibitively expensive, they'll bend over backwards to not comply, cut corners, or hide it. But if they have a process that's super efficient like this, they can mandate its use and expect much more compliance and less pushback or regulatory erosion from the inevitable swarm of lobbyists. This also is something that wastewater plants can do to economically remove the dyes that they receive as well.

Obviously corruption is the core issue here, but whenever there's an absence of activism to support "just doing the right thing" we need solutions like this to at least sugarcoat the right thing.


samuswashere t1_jdkt1cc wrote

The question of whether 80% is good is a really good one. I’m not an expert on wastewater but I have worked in stormwater treatment. In general it easier to remove a higher percentage of a pollutant if the original concentration is higher. So the average percent removal often isn’t a good indicator of how effective that method of removal will be with different starting concentrations or of what the final concentration to be.


Momoselfie t1_jdibiux wrote

Humans prefer colorful shirts over clean drinking water I guess.


ba123blitz t1_jdiyno2 wrote

Are you child? Seriously?

Yes 80% is good last I checked it’s more than 0% and if the solution was as simple as “just regulate the textile industry” our entire plant would not be one big dumping site for our industries leaders and the living organisms on it would not have crap like micro plastics or forever chemicals in their blood


AllanfromWales1 t1_jdgxpho wrote

The article doesn't make clear (as far as I can see) whether this filtration system is a once-through system which needs to be replaced once used up, or whether there is a technique for replenishing the filter to allow continuing or multiple uses. Single-use filters can be a problem as you end up replacing one pollutant with another (the used filter).


Professor_Snarf t1_jdhmpjf wrote

Also, once removed where do the pollutants go?


Pyrhan t1_jdic3h7 wrote

A cellulose filter loaded with organic dyes is very easy to incinerate, converting it all to CO2 and water.

As long as no organochlorine compounds or heavy metals are present, it should not pose an issue.


infinitealchemics t1_jdid9as wrote

As someone who works in waste incineration you are right. It'd be added into the burning process or at least dumped to a lined chemical waste disposal facility.


doomboy667 t1_jdissf1 wrote

My SO was just talking about this sort of system the other day. It's being test piloted at a few different manufacturing facilities for removal of different kinds of chemicals. They work for an environmental contracting company and they just got the greenlight to set one up. From what I hear it's pretty neat and stands to be the next big thing in wastewater treatment.


YouAreGenuinelyDumb t1_jdhtmy7 wrote

It looks like the cellulose is supposed to grab the dyes out of the water, and the exposure to sunlight is supposed to break them down. Whether they exfiltrate after breaking down, nor whether those degradation products are safe, isn’t clear.

If it does exfiltrate and it is safe, it seems pretty low waste, though. Otherwise, you would probably have to either swap the filters or recharge with fresh cellulose (and incinerate the old cellulose).


northbathroom t1_jdih1g4 wrote

I also tend to always question whether a sunlight solution can be industrialized to scale due to the processing time required.


YouAreGenuinelyDumb t1_jdiivjq wrote

I think these are supposed to be used at the point of waste generation rather than a waste processing facility.

Plus, if you know the binding capacity of the filter and the concentration of dye, you could simply use multiple filters and swap them after a set volume. Once the used filter is removed, you can probably leave them in the sun until it’s ready to be disposed. A low cost makes this pretty viable.


Wagamaga OP t1_jdgwfde wrote

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new method that can easily purify contaminated water using a cellulose-based material. This discovery could have implications for countries with poor water treatment technologies and combat the widespread problem of toxic dye discharge from the textile industry.

Clean water is a prerequisite for our health and living environment, but far from a given for everyone. According to the World Health Organization, WHO, there are currently over two billion people living with limited or no access to clean water.

This global challenge is at the centre of a research group at Chalmers University of Technology, which has developed a method to easily remove pollutants from water. The group, led by Gunnar Westman, Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry focuses on new uses for cellulose and wood-based products and is part of the Wallenberg Wood Science Center.

The researchers have built up solid knowledge about cellulose nanocrystals* – and this is where the key to water purification lies. These tiny nanoparticles have an outstanding adsorption capacity, which the researchers have now found a way to utilise.

“We have taken a unique holistic approach to these cellulose nanocrystals, examining their properties and potential applications. We have now created a biobased material, a form of cellulose powder with excellent purification properties that we can adapt and modify depending on the types of pollutants to be removed,” says Gunnar Westman.

Absorbs and breaks down toxins In a study recently published in the scientific journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, the researchers show how toxic dyes can be filtered out of wastewater using the method and material developed by the group. The research was conducted in collaboration with the Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur in India, where dye pollutants in textile industry wastewater are a widespread problem.

The treatment requires neither pressure nor heat and uses sunlight to catalyse the process. Gunnar Westman likens the method to pouring raspberry juice into a glass with grains of rice, which soak up the juice to make the water transparent again.

“Imagine a simple purification system, like a portable box connected to the sewage pipe. As the contaminated water passes through the cellulose powder filter, the pollutants are absorbed and the sunlight entering the treatment system causes them to break down quickly and efficiently. It is a cost-effective and simple system to set up and use, and we see that it could be of great benefit in countries that currently have poor or non-existent water treatment,” he says.


FasterDoudle t1_jdibwm7 wrote

I gotta ask, why didn't you take the time to clean up the title?


MexiReformist t1_jdhrqc1 wrote

How about we just remove toxic dyes from the industry completely?


SOwED t1_jdieiiw wrote

This title is so hard to parse. The article seems to be aimed at laypeople and doesn't explain how neither heat nor pressure are involved, yet sunlight is the catalyst. Sunlight is radiative heat. A catalyst must be regenerated in the process, or it isn't a catalyst, and I just don't think these things are gonna glow. Seems like they would have mentioned that.


PoeTayTose t1_jdin9x1 wrote

Maybe they remove the toxic chemicals by turning the water into exotic 0K 0mmHg material.


eliminating_coasts t1_jdip8in wrote

I was thinking that, presumably they mean that sunlight provides activation energy for a reaction.


SOwED t1_jdizwvh wrote

Exactly. Unlike a catalyst which lowers the required activation energy but doesn't actually provide any energy itself.


PsyOmega t1_jdhviog wrote

Sunlight both purifies water, and creates more toxins.

Some water supplies have added a covering layer of floating black balls to prevent sunlight interactions in drinking water.


[deleted] t1_jdhoacv wrote



Gearworks t1_jdi7g5k wrote

We just stopped using those dies, and or use oxidation to break them down


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Imagine-Onward t1_jdith62 wrote

How about the estrogen that is still present in the water?


itsmywife t1_jdiun18 wrote

im impressed if they can remove plastic and hormones , they plague our water worse


facecrockpot t1_jdlls7f wrote

Photocatalysis is not catalyzed by light. It's more like photo-assisted catalysis.


ElDoradoAvacado t1_jdhyjuj wrote

What is “dye” and “toxic chemicals”. Very superficial article.