Washing of Raw Wool

The high content of impurities in raw wool has to be removed before further processing, for example, in carbonization, spinning, and weaving. As a considerable part of the raw material (approx. 30%) is removed and released into the wastewater, washing of raw wool can cause heavy pollution problems. These difficulties are not due to the toxicity of the released components, but result from the high concentrations and the load of organic material released in the form of dispersed and dissolved substances. Figure 4 gives an overview of a general set of techniques that can be applied to lower the initial COD in the effluent from approximately 80,000 mg/L to a final value of 12,000 mg/L [11,12].

The lanolin extracted from the wool is purified further for use in cosmetics, hand cream, boot-polish, and so on. Part of the permeate from the ultrafiltration is recycled to save fresh water. A particular advantage arises from the fact that the dissolved sweat components exhibit

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