Inthe present competitive global market, environmental awareness is necessary foreach industry in order to keep alive its own prospects, and this will have tobe strictly followed from raw-material selection to the waste management of thefinal finished product. Though the major breakthroughs have already, takenplace in the area of the textile wet processing viz. development of non-carcinogenicdyes, application of biotechnology and non-formaldehyde finishing agents,application of biodegradable products, etc there are still unexplored areassuch as the application of APEO-based formulations where our proper attentionis essential.
Themost important APEOs, or alkyl phenol ethoxylates, for the textile industry areNPEO (nonylphenol ethoxylates) and OPEO (octylphenol ethoxylates), due to theirdetergent properties. About 90% of the produced APEOs are in fact NPEO. Thecompounds are used in detergents, cleaning agents, or chemicals used fortextile or leather production. Toxicological characteristics include theirhormone-disruptive properties and the fact that they are toxic to aquaticorganisms.
Furthermore,APEOs are very persistent and difficultly degradable in nature. These are allproblem areas for wastewater treatment and discharging of wastewater intosurface waters.
Itwas also observed that most of the commercial scouring-aid formulations beingused are based on a major portion of nonylphenol ethoxylate condensate productsand organic solvents. Manufacturers have tried many formulations of chemicalauxiliary but only a few formulations have succeeded in giving uniform andconsistent results that were suitable for the production of prepared goods.