Textile effluents often contain an array of chemicals with different biodegradation characteristics. Consequently, it is quite difficult to evaluate and interpret the degree of COD removal that can be attained by biological treatment without identifying COD portions that are resistant to biodegradation. This study evaluates the biological treatability of textile wastewaters generated by the knit and wowen fabric finishing category with specific emphasis on the assessment of different residual COD components. A new method is proposed to experimentally measure the initial particulate inert COD. The method is tested to yield a value of 73 mgl-1 for this COD component, corresponding to 16 % of the particulate COD in the textile sample. A previously developed procedure is used to quantify the initial soluble inert COD and the residual COD generated through microbial metabolism during the treatment process. The ratio of the inert fraction to the soluble COD of the textile effluents is found to vary between 0.076 and 0.22. A similar ratio in the range of 0.04 - 0.09 is calculated for the residual microbial products. The kinetic and stoichiometric constants associated with the biodegradable COD are also experimentally measured. The residual components, together with the kinetic information about biodegradable fractions, are used to simulate the performance of activated sludge systems by means of a relationship between the total effluent COD and the sludge age. The results indicate that the residual components practically dominate the effluent COD and seriously challenge related effluent standards.

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