Textile dye wastewaters are characterized by strong colour, salts and other additives, high pH, temperature, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biodegradable materials. Being aesthetically and environmentally unacceptable, these wastewaters need to be treated before their discharge. Anaerobic bioprocesses have been proposed as being environmentally friendly and relatively cheap; however, when applied to real effluent with a complex composition, they can fail. In this study, a photoreactor combining UV light and TiO2, immobilized in cellulosic fabric, was applied for the treatment of two industrial textile wastewaters. High colour and COD removal, and detoxification, were achieved for both wastewaters, at controlled pH of 5.5. Effluents showed very poor biodegradability due to their complex composition; thus, the proposed process is an efficient alternative.

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