Clean Technology for a Cleaner World

WTO's Seattle round of talks dropped the environment bomb on the third world. A hue and cry about the depleting environment and increasing child labour rang piercing alarm bells and the better half of the developing countries left the scene in a huff. Their much deliberated upon Small and Medium Enterprises agenda was quashed. It was put to rest at the embryonic stage, by a bunch of powerful nations in a burst of eco-friendly affectation.

The Uruguay round at Marrakesh in April 1994, took a decision to begin a comprehensive work programme on trade and environment in the WTO. It means that the subject will always be a top priority on the WTO agenda. An open, equitable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system has a key contribution to make to national and international efforts to better protect and conserve environmental resources and promote sustainable development.

The issue here is not about the debacle at Seattle, failed international conferences are as frequent as the occurrence of days and nights, but of exploring better possibilities for a cleaner and better world of poor nations. Globalisation brings with it the western forces of 'environment advocacy'. Third world needs to stay in a perpetual state of readiness to face any kind of clamping down.

The new buzzword in the international industrial circles is clean technology. With a growing demand from every company's acquisition, efficient environmental management would sooner or later end up in adopting clean technology. Clean technology or technology to ensure clean production, the ultimate aim is to reduce the generation of wastes and toxic emissions. Reducing input material cost, effluents and wastes become a money earner. A far cry from what they used to be - an irritant. It is a creative way of thinking about products and processes that help in reducing pollution at source and enhance profitability.

Denmark is one of the leading nations in evolving eco-friendly systems. The whole country is a good example for how environment friendly technology can be applied successfully. Their district heating grid for instance is impeccable. It has become a benchmark for many American and other European ventures. Their organic farming is already a forerunner for many such brilliant ideas. Danes were the first to start the mechanism of running slurry deep down into earth to support the next crop. In India, slurry is still dumped in the nearby fields choking out space and fertile land.

The green top apartments of Peabody trust in UK is one of its kind and has all the promise to change the way the world accommodates its citizens in the future. All the reusable technology taken into account might still not be enough to encounter the colossal hazard we are faced with. Organic farming is slowly entering Indian fields and farmers should be provided tailor-made solutions for their queries on organic farming. It should be undertaken before the farmers switch to different occupations in a fit of confused frustration. The transition from intensive to organic farming frequently yields lower results for the individual farmer. This makes rationalization and efficiency thickly pronounced on the agricultural sector's agenda.

The ninth Scandinavian Trade Fair for environmental and process technology, 'Dan Miljo 2000' segmented itself into five sections. Water, Air, Working environment, Waste & Recycling and Chemical & Process technology. It is more or less related to the five elements of nature. So that means a clean beginning, very elemental in nature. Air, Water, Earth, Sky, Fire, Plasma, all clearly seen in the language of modern science. Hygiene is not scientific, it is actually very basic and natural. Industrial hygiene is nothing but the very same concept magnified to a mechanized proportion.

The industries that contaminate the most are the ones to be addressed. The liquor industry almost heads the table. Iron and Steel, Detergents and many more other segments flooding earth and sky with effluents, pollutants and sludge. With Clean Production there seems to be an answer to every form of pollution.

Clean Production also actually displays a lot of advantages over common forms of pollution control.

As responsible individuals and organizations respecting community etiquette, every management needs to weigh the pros and cons of their production techniques. It is after all a planet we borrowed from our children and when we leave behind this property, let it not feel like a burning cauldron of waste peppered with hi-tech gizmos floating towards apocalypse, all in the name of convenience.

What the Industry needs to do?

Managerial Commitment:

Make commitment for a strong financial and managerial benefits through Cleaner Production techniques. The Unit need not be large and does not require large funds, modern technology and qualified professionals.

Start at the top with the owner or the manager of the shop floor and extend to all the employees.

Manpower Development:

  • Increase employee awareness on the importance of waste reduction by providing training in CP techniques and practices. Ex. in foundry, one should know how metal pouring should be done to avoid spillage and rejections of casts and to maximise the efficiency.
  • Recognise and offer incentives to encourage employees to
  • identify sources, types, quantity, costs and affect of waste being produced and to suggest the changes in design and operation procedures that would further reduce the waste generation.


  • Make reduction and reuse as a part of the purchasing philosophy.
  • Buy material with recycle content and reuse the waste.
  • Always askand refer to the safety data sheet of a dye/chemical/
  • auxiliary from its supplier and use it only if it is safe.
  • Inspect the materials upon delivery and immediately return unacceptable materials to the suppliers.


  • Store the materials properly in a store room meant for it to avoid scattering, spillage and wastage of material.
  • Write the details of weight, composition, purpose and date on packed covers of chemicals and binders to reduce the wastages during handling.
  • Store the materials away from water and damp places.
  • Tightly seal all the bungs and lids on containers to prevent evaporation and spillage.

Good House keeping:

  • Check the hoses, coupling, pumps, valves and gaskets frequently in order to detect leaks and ensure proper insulation.
  • Make repairs properly and immediately.
  • Keep track of where waste spills have occurred so that precaution measures may be taken in future.
  • Install appropriate chutes to collect screening rejects.
  • Control leakages and spillages in handling.
  • Keep the storage and work area clean and well organised.

Input material:

  • Substitute non hazardous ingredients for hazardous materials wherever possible.
  • Use less scarp material to get good quality casts.
  • Substitute existing dyes with less toxic dyes.
  • Application of anthraquinone as pulping additive.
  • Using Poly-Aluminium Silica Sulphate instead of alum.
  • Substituting chlorine based bleaching by chlorine free bleaching.

Better process control:-

  • Controlled water pressure for edge cutting nozzles on paper machine.
  • Optimisation of dyeing process (time, pressure, temperature, in textile process houses).
  • Provision of fuel feed controller mechanism in boiler.
  • Preventive maintenance for main components of plant equipment and utility systems.
  • Preventing over drying.
  • Choose the finishing agents in such a manner that the quantity of free releasable formaldehyde does not exceed the limiting values stipulated in the eco-standards.
  • Investigate the waste to improve your extraction efficiency.
  • Do not under nor over load to maximise efficiency.
  • Change or modify costly procedures (even minor changes some times result in a significant reduction in the quantity of waste being generated at little expense).
  • Monitor the equipment efficiency periodically.
  • Remove the hot metal continuously or else more slag will be produced as pure metal will come along with the slag.

Equipment Modification:

  • Installation of level controllers.
  • Consistency indicator in pulp feeding to paper machine.
  • Provision of high velocity hood in steam dryers for cloth/paper.
  • Rationalisation of steam, condensate and water lines.

Technology Change:

  • U-tube jet Dyeing instead of winch dyeing (Textile)
  • Hot stock refining (Refineries)
  • Falling film evaporator instead of multi effect evaporator
  • Vacuum drum washers (counter current operation) (Paper)
  • Enzymatic dehairing (Tannery)
  • Counter current reactive rinsing (Electro Plating)
  • Cold pad batch dyeing. (Textile)

Energy Savings:

  • Get energy audit done periodically to identify conservation opportunity and opimising energy use efficiency.
  • Provide top cover to the furnace. (Foundry)
  • Control of pouring temperature of molten metal. (Foundry)
  • Increase bulk density of the charge (scrap metal) by using press.(Foundry)
  • Oxygen lancing in cupola. (Foundry)
  • Use heat - recovery from flue gas. (Foundry)
  • Provide insulation to oven to reduce surface temperature.

On site reuse or recovery:

  • Identify recovery materials that can be segregated at generation.
  • Consider in plant recycling of recoverable materials directly recycle the material back into the original production process.
  • For resins like phenolic, freon the same sand can be reused which results in savings of binders.
  • Re use the metal pieces collected from shot blast and fettling section. (Foundry)
  • Re use the metal spilled out during pouring process by properly clearing it. (Foundry)
  • Chrome recovery from waste tanning liquor. (Tannery)
  • Recycling couch Decker filtrate in pulp washing. (Pulp & Paper)
  • Condensate recovery and reuse in boiler house
  • Reusing exhausted dye liquor (Textile)
  • Print paste recovery from textile printing belts. (Textile)
  • Recovery of bath solution in drag out tanks in electroplating. (Electro plating)

Useful by product:

  • Waste like sand and slag can be utilised like for road filling.
  • Application of black liqupr (from sulphite pulping) as fertiliser.
  • Application of screening rejects in board manufacture.
  • Preparation of utensils cleaning powder from waste liquor of kier (textile) and ash from coal fired boiler. (Textile)
  • Use of cloth rags for mattress making. (Textile)
  • Use of cashewnut shell oil as coating for corrosion prevention.
  • Make agreement with suppliers to return packing boxes.

Sustain Cleaner Production:

  • Set a team for CP
  • Continuing education, training and incentives for employees.
  • Integration in technical development.
  • Long term strategies and polices.

For further information, in-house training and to implement Cleaner Production Techniques in your Unit, please contact:

Karnataka Cleaner Production Centre
UNI Building, Thimmaiah Road, Miller Tank,
Bangalore-560 052
Tel: 22266142, 22266152
Fax: 22266138