The main objective of this study was to develop the treatment system to change wastewater into a reliable source of recyclable water within the textile plant. Therefore, a highly polluted industrial wastewater originated in the dyeing of cotton was subjected to a multi-step treatment. The raw wastewater was characterized by the concentration of Reactive Black 5, the azo dye, as high as 842 mg/L, extreme alkalinity (pH 11.26) and salinity (NaCl concentration 52,290 mg/L). Correspondingly, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) was equal to 3440 mg/L and the total organic carbon (TOC) was 1790 mg/L in this wastewater. This salty, hardly degradable wastewater underwent the electrocoagulation (EC) on an industrial scale in the first step of the treatment. Although the industrial EC resulted in 84% of color removal in a very short time of 8 min, the wastewater was still characterized by an extremally high absorbance which corresponded to 100 mg/L of RB5. Moreover, EC resulted in the occurrence of burdensome by-products, of which one was identified in this study as an aniline derivative. The by-products contributed to high residual COD and TOC after EC (2120 mg/L and 1052 mg/L, respectively). Consequently, the catalytic ozonation was used by us as a second, the polishing, step of the treatment. The catalytic ozonation was found efficient in the removal of the residual color and colorless by-products. The wastewater after catalytic ozonation was colorless and the final COD and TOC decreased to 1283 and 695 mg/L, respectively. The average oxidation state (AOS), spectra analysis, and the toxicity assay showed catalytic ozonation efficient in the by-products oxidation. Consequently, the catalytic action of activated carbon (AC) was proved for the ozonation of textile wastewater. Ultimately, the recycling of purified wastewater into dyeing resulted in a very good color quality of textile samples (DECMC values below limiting value equal to 1.0).
Keywords: By-products removal; Catalytic ozonation; Industrial textile wastewater; Toxicity assessment.
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