The removal of color and DOC from segregated dye waste streams using ozone and Fenton's reagent followed by biotreatment

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The decolorization of reactive dye-containing waste streams using oxidizing chemicals and the determination of the effect of the oxidizing agents on the subsequent biotreatment of the streams was investigated. Three oxidizing schemes were chosen for study: molecular ozone, base-promoted ozonation, and Fenton’s reagent (Fe²⁺ and H₂O₂). The ADMI color value of the solutions was used as the primary parameter for color comparison and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal was the measure of the effect of biodegradation.

Three different waste streams from a textile dyeing facility were chosen: a Navy slack washer effluent from a pad-dyeing operation, a Navy dyebath effluent from a dyejet, and a Brilliant Blue dyejet effluent. Pure dye solutions were oxidized as well to determine the effect of interfering species in the waste streams.

The results demonstrated that base-promoted ozonation was more effective than molecular ozone for the decolorization of the Navy slack washer effluent. In both cases the ADMI color value could be decreased by 82% but almost half as much ozone was necessary for the high pH trials. The high pH ozonation proved more effective for the Navy jet-dye effluent, as well, achieving a much lower color value with less ozone. Greater decolorization (96%) of the Navy jet-dye effluent was achieved by Fenton’s reagent than for either of the ozonation schemes. Ozonation of the Brilliant Blue jet-dye bath showed no dependence on pH and the color value of the solution was reduced could be 63%.

The results indicate that the dyes were selectively oxidized by ozonation and the amount of ozone required for decolorization depended mainly the initial color of the dye waste stream. The amount of hydrogen peroxide required for Fenton’s reagent oxidation depended on the initial DOC of the dye waste stream.

Oxidation of the wastewater streams proved to neither enhance nor hinder the operation of the biological reactors. The color removals by biological activity were minimal for both control and experimental reactors. Dissolved carbon removal was not enhanced by oxidative pretreatment.