Wastewater from the textile industry: Review of the technologies for wastewater treatment and reuse

Ali Ahsan, Farrukh Jamil, Moeen Ali Rashad, Murid Hussain, Abrar Inayat, Parveen Akhter, Ala’a H. Al-Muhtaseb, Kun Yi Andrew Lin, Young Kwon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The textile industry is water intensive and discharges numerous coloring compounds into the water body that depend on the industry’s geographical location, the wet processes used for manufacturing, processing conditions, and the substrates involved. Textile wastewater contains chlorobenzenes, phthalates, heavy metals, azo dyes, and chlorophenols that have severe health issues, such as being allergenic, cytotoxic, genotoxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic threats to living organisms. The differing concentrations of sulfates, chlorides, TOC, TDS, TSS, BOD, COD, high pH, and dye content characterize textile wastewater. To protect the environment and public health, a higher concentration of these items in textile wastewater is needed to treat the textile wastewater effluent before discharge. The conventional treatment methods are not able to fully remove the pollutants, such as physical treatments can only remove grease, oil, and TSS, whereas biological wastewater treatment (aerobic and anaerobic) can only decrease colors, COD, BOD, oil, and phenol with a higher accomplishment period and by-products. Therefore, it is necessary to develop effective ecofriendly, cost-effective, novel techniques, such as membrane technology, and a promising method with fewer by-products. The activated carbon method effectively removes heavy metals and dyes from the textile wastewater, and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are a recent development in textile wastewater treatment processes. Combining AOPs methods has been proven effective in removing pollutants when combined with biological and advanced physical processes. This paper reviews the textile manufacturing process, textile wastewater characteristics, textile wastewater’s impact on the environment and health, and the available textile wastewater treatment approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2060-2081
Number of pages22
JournalKorean Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Health & Environmental Concerns
  • Textile Pollutants
  • Textile Wastewater
  • Wastewater Treatment


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