BATTLE - Best Available Technique for water reuse in TextiLE SMEs

LIFE05 ENV/IT/000846

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Maurizio CASARCI
Tel: +39 0630483263
Fax: +39 0630483294
Email: maurizio.casarci@casaccia.enea.it

Project description:


The main negative impacts of the textile manufacturing sector on the environment are related to primary water consumption and wastewater discharge, characterised by large amounts of organic chemicals and colouring agents, low biodegradability and high salinity. Prior to the launch of this project, no company was implementing the full-scale recovery of effluents for reuse in production, although several successful research and pilot projects had explored this option. Moreover, SMEs were not reusing their water, but still using fresh high quality water for all production processes. According to the IPPC Directive (96/61/EC) the best available technologies (BATs) for the textile sector described in the BREF reference document, should be implemented by all large companies and also by SMEs with a daily production capacity of over 10 tonnes. The textile BREF guidelines (currently under revision) contain several BATs for production processes, but only general advice on wastewater treatment and reuse.


The project aimed to design and demonstrate a new BAT for efficient wastewater reuse in the textile industry. The feasibility of the technology would be shown in a representative medium-sized textile finishing company, Stamperia di Martinengo. The innovative water management system would integrate the different aspects involved in reuse (online characterisation, stream segregation, final effluent treatability evaluation and impact control, reclaimed water reusability and cost analysis).


Implementation of the BATTLE project involved first carrying out a study on the processes and the effluents. The effluents were separated into those that are potentially reusable and those that aren't. The water quality needs of textile processing were evaluated. Based on this initial work, the most cost-efficient technology for water reclamation was selected and different water reuse schemes were designed for cost/ benefit comparisons. A water reuse pilot plant was designed and developed to demonstrate the applicability of the methodology. The feasibility of the reuse scheme was then implemented by Stamperia di Martinengo (a project partner)and typical medium-sized textile finishing company. The pilot plant was designed with a treatment capacity of approximately 500 m3/day. The main production sectors were connected to dual wastewater collection pipelines. Suitable effluents were collected separately and pumped into a mixing tank. The resulting mixed stream was diverted to a membrane plant for treatment and subsequent reuse. Before reuse, membrane permeates were mixed with the necessary amount of primary water. These were then sent to the water company distribution network. The effluents that are not suitable for reuse, mixed with the concentrates produced by the ultrafiltration (UF) membrane plant, were treated in the existing biological wastewater treatment plant. The treatment technology is UF on hollow fibres membranes. Because of the variability of the production processes in the textile sector and consequently the variability in its effluents, an expert system was required capable of the operation of online control of the effluent quality. The system, fed by a continuous online analytical control (e.g. colour, conductivity, pH) on the different process effluent, is able to select the most suitable effluent streams for the next treatment and reuse. In line with the project objectives, the reuse pilot plant treated some 500 m3/day of process and WWTP effluents and produced on average, 374 m3/day of recovered water. Furthermore the company plans to increase the plant capacity to up to 1 000 m3/day – i.e. 50% of its total fresh water use. With this full-scale plant in operation the production processes will use a mix of primary water and reclaimed wastewater in equal proportions. The environmental benefits from the application of the proposed wastewater treatment and reuse technology are mainly related to the lower consumption of high quality water through the maximisation of water re-use. Water reuse by treatment of segregated effluents has also reduced the hydraulic load of the company WWTP, which represented a significant environmental benefit, by allowing a better treatment and removal of contaminants before wastewater discharge. Finally, the BATTLE project technology was developed with a view for possible inclusion in the upcoming revised BREF reference guidelines for the textile sector. (The BREF currently contains several BATs to prevent pollution and reduce the impact in the production processes, but only general advice on wastewater treatment and reuse.) Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Cleaner technologies
Water - Water saving
Industry-Production - Textiles - Clothing


water reuse‚  textile industry

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)
  • Industry and Product Policy
  • Directive 96/61 - Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) (24.09.1996)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Ente Nazionale per le Nuove tecnologie, l'Energie e l'Ambiente
Type of organisation National authority
Description ENEA is the Italian Public board for advanced technology and research in the environmental field.
Partners ANOVA, Italy CENTEXBEL, Belgium CIDA srl, Italy SdM MARTINENGO, Italy University of Firenze, Italy


Project reference LIFE05 ENV/IT/000846
Duration 01-DEC-2005 to 30-NOV -2008
Total budget 2,055,344.00 €
EU contribution 965,902.00 €
Project location Vlaams Gewest(België - Belgique) Région Wallonne(België - Belgique) Bruxelles-Brussel(België - Belgique) Lombardia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia)


Read more:

Leaflet "BATTLE LIFE PROJECT (Best Available Technique for ...
Poster Final poster
Poster "Best Available Techniques for Water Reuse in Text ...
Poster "Best Available Techniques for Water Reuse in Text ...
Project web site Project's website (IT/EN)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan (EN)
Publication: Article-Paper "Riuso dell'acqua nell industria tessile. Il proge ...
Publication: Article-Paper "Best available technique for water reuse in texti ...
Publication: Article-Paper "Best Available Techniques for Water Reuse in Text ...
Publication: Article-Paper "Investigation on textile industry wastewater reus ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report (EN)
Publication: Management plan "Best Available Techniques for Water Reuse in Text ...
Publication: Proceedings "Un ambiente sostenible, solidale ed etico" (189 K ...
Publication: Technical report "Better thinking's perfect t-shirt : made with lov ...
Publication: Thesis "Combinazione di tecniche respirometriche e titrim ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version