Membrane processes for dye wastewater treatment: Recent progress in fouling control

Chidambaram Thamaraiselvan, Michael Noel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


The textile industry generates large volumes of effluents on a daily basis, which contains substantial loads of organic compounds, inorganic salts, and suspended impurities. Membrane filtration has become an essential part of advanced treatment plants for dye wastewater treatment. Prevention of membrane fouling is one of the critical objectives for making the overall treatment process commercially viable. Development in this area during the past decade is critically evaluated in this review. Recent developments in the primary, secondary, and tertiary treatment steps in textile wastewater treatment are outlined. The methods employed for measuring, modeling, and understanding membrane fouling processes are discussed. Specific efforts toward fouling control by (a) pretreatment stages of textile wastewater and (b) modifying and optimizing the membrane separation process parameters such as feed composition, hydrodynamic conditions, and membrane properties are then assessed. Fouling related investigations for microfiltration/ultrafiltration membranes, membrane bioreactors, reverse osmosis, and nanofiltration membranes with special focus on textile wastewater treatment are discussed. Recent efforts toward developing new membranes and cleaning processes for fouled membrane activation are also discussed. Pilot plant studies involving membrane separation in combination with other treatment processes are also summarized. Strategies evolved and experiences gained from the industrial scale textile wastewater treatment plants in India are discussed. The authors also summarize the opportunities and the challenges remaining at different stages of industrial textile wastewater treatment units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1040
Number of pages34
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 19 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • dye wastewater
  • fouling control
  • membrane filtration
  • nanofiltration
  • pilot plant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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