General

The annual production of wool is approximately 1.2 million tons, which corresponds to a share of 2% of the total production of textile fibers. A simplified route for the preparation, dyeing, and finishing of woolen textiles is shown in Figure 3.

Table 2 Annual Production of Textile Fibers 2001

Type of fiber

Mt/year

Man-made fibers

Synthetics

31.6

Polyester

19.2

Polypropylene

5.8

Polyamide

3.7

Acrylics

2.6

Others

0.3

Cellulosics

2.7

Natural fibers

Cotton

19.8

Jute

3.1

Ramie

0.2

Linen

0.6

Wool

1.2

Silk

0.1

Total

59.2

Mt, million tons. Source: Ref. 10.

Figure 3 General processing route of woolen textiles (from Ref. 3).

Besides more general strategies of process optimization, three representative steps will be discussed in more detail because of their particular importance with regard to wastewater. The main problem resulting from these steps is given in parentheses:

• antifelt treatment of wool (AOX);

• dyeing processes (chromium).

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