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Cotton-Textile Wastewater Management: Investigating Different Treatment Methods

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The cotton-textile industry consumes significant amounts of water during manufacturing, creating high volumes of wastewater needing treatment. The organic-load concentration of cotton-textile wastewater is equivalent to a medium-strength municipal wastewater; the color of the water, however, remains a significant environmental issue. This research, in cooperation with a cotton-textile manufacturer, investigated different treatment methods and different combinations of methods to identify the most cost-effective approaches to treating textile wastewater. Although activated-sludge is economical, it can only be used as part of an integrated wastewater management system because it cannot decolorize wastewater. Coagulation/flocculation methods are able to decolorize cotton-wastewater; however, this process creates high amounts of wastewater solids, thus significantly increasing total treatment costs. Chemical oxidation is an environmentally friendly technique that can only be used as a polishing step because of high operating costs. Anaerobic digestion in a series of fixed-bed bioreactors with immobilized methanogens using acetic acid as a substrate and a pH-control agent followed by activated-sludge treatment was found to be the most cost-effective and environmentally safe cotton-textile wastewater management approach investigated.
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Keywords: Wastewater management; activated-sludge; anaerobic digestion; bioreactor; chemical coagulation; chemical oxidation; costs; cotton-textiles

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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