Performance of a pilot-scale reverse osmosis process for water recovery from biologically-treated textile wastewater

J Environ Manage. 2019 Nov 1;249:109382. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109382. Epub 2019 Aug 14.


Textile industry generates a high volume of wastewater containing various type of pollutants. Although high color and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removals are achieved with the combination of biological and chemical treatment processes, reverse osmosis (RO) process is generally needed for water recovery due to high conductivity of the textile wastewater. In this study, a pilot scale RO process containing one spiral wound membrane element was operated under three different operational modes, i.e. concentrated, complete recycle and continuous, to collect more information for the prediction of a real-scale RO process performance. It was claimed that complete recycle mode of operation enabled mimicking the operational conditions exerted on the first membrane, whereas continuous mode of operation created conditions very similar to the ones exerted on the last membrane element in a real scale RO process train. In the concentrated and continuous mode of operation, water recovery and flux were around 70% and 19 L/m2/h (LMH). Permeate produced in the RO process can be safely reused in the dyeing process as the feed and permeate conductivities were around 5500 μS/cm and 150 μS/cm, respectively, at 70% water recovery. However, color concentration in the concentrate exceeded the discharge limits and would need further treatment. The RO performance was accurately predicted by ROSA simulations.

Keywords: Membrane processes; Reverse osmosis; Textile wastewater reuse; Water reuse.

MeSH terms

  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Osmosis
  • Textiles
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid
  • Wastewater*
  • Water
  • Water Purification*


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Waste Water
  • Water