In the present study the feasibility of the use of a bacterial batch sequential anaerobic–aerobic process, in which activated sludge was used in both parts of the process, for pretreatment of wastewater generated by a textile dyeing factory has been considered. Activated sludge used in the process was obtained from a municipal wastewater treatment plant and adapted to real dyeing wastewater using either an anaerobic-only or an anaerobic–aerobic process over a period of 90 days. The use of activated sludge adapted using the anaerobic–aerobic process resulted in a higher overall decolorization efficiency compared to that achieved with activated sludge adapted using the anaerobic-only cycles. Anaerobic and aerobic periods of around 34 and 22 hours respectively resulted in an effluent with chemical oxygen demand (COD) and color content which met the standards for discharge into the centralized wastewater treatment plant of the industrial estate in which the dyeing factory was situated. Neutralization of the real dyeing wastewater and addition of carbon source to it, both of which results in significant increase in the cost of the bacterial treatment process, was not found to be necessary to achieve the required discharge standards.

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