Feasibility Study on the Reduction of Phenol and Chlorophenol Concentration from the Contaminated Textiles Using Suitable Detergent and Dispersing Agent

Research Article

Adv Res Text Eng. 2020; 5(1): 1046.

Feasibility Study on the Reduction of Phenol and Chlorophenol Concentration from the Contaminated Textiles Using Suitable Detergent and Dispersing Agent

Md Salauddin SK1* and Md Faruque AAl2

¹Textile Technology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

²Department of Fabric Engineering, Bangladesh University of Textiles, Bangladesh

*Corresponding author: Md Salauddin Sk, Textile Technology, University of Dhaka, Harris and Menuk, Bangladesh

Received: May 04, 2020; Accepted: May 27, 2020; Published: June 03, 2020


Compliance is a buzz word now-a-day every industry is very much concerned about sustainable development. An investigation has been carried out with the aim of reducing the concentration of phenol & chlorophenols from the contaminated textiles (polyester & polyamide) within the acceptable limit according to the standard 100 by Oeko-Tex using suitable detergent and dispersing agent. The results were studied in comparison with the contaminated textiles and chemical treated one using 5g/l and 10g/l dosing of nonionic detergent and dispersing agent together with the help of GC-MS & GC-ECD (Gas chromatography-Electron capture detector) and HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) for chlorophenols and phenol respectively. Color fastness to wash and rubbing properties were also compared between untreated and after treated goods. Color fastness to wash & rubbing found slightly better than the contaminated one. The concentration (mg/kg) of phenol & chlorophenols successfully drop down from the limit exceeding point to the permissible limit given by the standard 100 by Oeko-Tex.Moreover, the used chemicals found free of toxic APEOS. Finally, this process found as an easier solution while facing such kind of phenol and chlorophenols contamination problem to comply with different international compliance legislations.

Keywords: Detergent; Dispersing agent; Phenol; Chlorophenol; mg/kg


Chlorophenols are a group of chemicals in which chlorines (between one and five) have been added to phenol. Generally, five types of chlorophenols are found, such as Monochlorophenol (MCP), Dichlorophenol (DCP), Trichlorophenol (TCP), Tetrachlorophenol (TeCP) & Pentachlorophenol (PCP) with their isomers [1]. Among all of the chlorophenols, only the dichlorophenol (2-chlorophenol) is available in the liquid form at room temperature while all the other chlorophenols are available in the solid state [1-3]. Chlorophenols are commonly used as preservatives for the production of textile auxiliaries. Very often these can also be used as raw materials to produce synthetic dyes [3]. Later, when these auxiliaries and dyes are used at different stages of the textile wet-processing, the textiles are contaminated along with the produced wastewater [1]. Print paste is also a source of chlorophenols that can cause contamination to the textiles also [4]. Dispersing agent used for the dyeing of polyester as a carrier for the dyes to the fiber is also a source for chlorophenols [5]. Phenol comes from fixing agent, used to treat polyamide fiber after dyeing in order to increase the colour fastness to wash. During synthetic fibers like- polyamide, polyester processing sometimessuch problem also creates difficulties to the dyers to be compliant with the Restricted Substance List (RSL) guidelines provided by the retailers [6]. Since these organic compounds are carcinogenic, hence, possessing several adverse health effects and are strictly restricted to use up to a permissible limit for textiles [7, 8]. Some chlorophenols can be very toxic to aquatic organisms and above certain exposure, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment [6,9]. Besides, while using above the prescribed levels and due to the longterm exposure, some chlorophenols may result in the development of particular cancers, inhalation issues and dermatological problems [8,10-12]. Each of these isomers has different permissible exposure levels. Some chlorophenols are toxic to the aquatic environment while others are carcinogenic & can cause systemic organ toxicity [8,10]. According to Oeko-Tex guideline, textile and leather materials should contain <0.05mg/kg of each TeCP & PCP and <0.5mg/kg of each TCP [8,13]. Similarly, standard 100 by Oeko-Tex has also norms for the permissible exposure limits of chlophenols & phenol. For phenol, maximum permissible limit is <20mg/kg [8,13]. However, according to standard 100 by Oeko-Tex the maximum exposure limit has different acceptable ranges for four different product classes of i-iv [9]. Since Oeko-Tex is applied for finished product so once any contamination happens it does need to test from the fiber processing to the finished article [6,9]. Other than these different retailers have different permissible exposure limit mentioned their RSL (Restricted Substances List) guideline. Researchers already did few investigations to remove these toxic substances, which are responsible for endocrine disruption and many other adverse health effects for human being as well as aquatic life due to their persistence capability. For example. Soybean peroxidase and excilamp have the potential to reduce 4-chlorophenol successfully [14]. Another study demonstrated that the use of soybean hulls and hydrogen peroxide can produce certain enzyme that can reduce both phenol (96%) and 2-chlorophenol (98.5%) from the wastewater in the presence of detergent [15]. Besides, advanced oxidation process is also reported to reduce the chlorophenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates [16]. While inexpensive adsorbents produced from industrial wastes have the potential to reduce phenol, 2-chlorophenol, 4-chlorophenol, and 2,4-dichlorophenol [7]. Membrane technology found as the best option other than the adsorption, oxidation & biological methods to reduce phenolic compounds [17]. Flocculation and coagulation method are another physico-chemical process that can remove phenolic compounds using suitable chemicals [18]. Ozonation process can also remove phenol from polluted water [4]. Another study revealed that ozonation can reduce 2,4 dichlorophenol concentration while increase chloride [19]. Lin et al., reported that 2-chlorophenols can be degraded by the copper doped titanium dioxide with the help of visible light through photocatalytic action [20]. Fluidized bed reactor using activated carbon collected from coconut shell can successfully reduce phenol concentration up to 96% [21].The presence of external chloride can lead to a 47-fold increment in degradation rates of 4-chlorophenol than those in the absence of chloride in UV/peroxymonosulfate process [22].

Although there are distinct constitutions for both the finished goods and wastewater, researchers are using different techniques or tools to reduce or degrade these toxic substances concentration. Globally, chemical industries are utilizing 4 million types of chemical substances in their processing routes, while textile industries are familiar with 600 toxic substances [23]. Textile industries are using significant amounts of phenolic compounds throughout different processing cycle depending on the finished product. The use of these harmful substances over permissible limit banned by different international legislations. For textile industry, retailers as well as different international certification bodies have their own manufacturing Restricted Substance Lists (RSL) with acceptable exposure limit. For the finished textiles, the phenol and chlorophenols concentration tested to confirm cumulative exposure concentration of total used chemicals during the full processing cycle. Since this branch of research over looked by the scientists considering this an attempt has been carried out to investigate how to reduce the phenolic compound from contaminated textiles. Careful selection of suitable dispersing agent and detergent was crucial that have the potential to do the job without impairing the goods quality.

Until now, most of the research mainly based on removal of the phenolic issues from the industrial wastewater, overlooking the presence of this in the finished textiles. Therefore, in this current study, we arefocusing on the removal of these phenolic issues from the contaminated textiles instead of the wastewater.

Materials and Methods


The disperse dyed single-jersey plain knitted fabric having composition of 80% polyester and 20% spandex with areal density of 220g/m2 was supplied by a textile industry “Network clothing, Bangladesh”. 100% nylon 6 tape (0.5 cm) dyed by acid dyes was provided by Naturub associates, Bangladesh. The digital image of all the samples used in this study has been shown in Figure 1. Since all the samples were in finished state, these were directly used for the chemical treatment to reduce the chlorophenol and phenol concentration respectively without any further treatment. Commercially available detergent and dispersing agent were collected from Euro Dye Ctc and Zschimmer & Schwarz Gmbh, respectively. The multi-fiber adjacent fabric of DW type (SDC, UK) and crocking cloth (James heal, UK) were used for the testing of color fastness to washing and color fastness to rubbing. The grey scale (James heal, UK) was used for the assessing of the color fastness to wash and color fastness to rubbing test results. The OBA free non-phosphate detergent (SDC, UK) & sodium carbonate (Merck) used for assessing wash fastness.