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Open Access Research article

Experimental study of dye removal from industrial wastewater by membrane technologies of reverse osmosis and nanofiltration

Mohammad Fadhil Abid1*, Mumtaz Abdulahad Zablouk1 and Abeer Muhssen Abid-Alameer2

Author Affiliations

1 Department Chemical Engineering, University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq

2 Ministry of environment, Baghdad, Iraq

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Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering 2012, 9:17  doi:10.1186/1735-2746-9-17

Published: 5 December 2012


Currently, biological method has been utilized in the treatment of wastewater -containing synthetic dyes used by textile industries in Iraq. The present work was devoted to study the operating feasibility using reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membrane systems as an alternative treatment method of wastewater discharged from Iraqi textile mills. Acid red, reactive black and reactive blue dyes were selected, based on the usage rate in Iraq. Effects of dye concentration, pH of solution, feed temperature, dissolved salts and operating pressure on permeate flux and dye rejection were studied. Results at operating conditions of dye concentration = 65 mg/L, feed temperature = 39°C and pressure = 8 bar showed the final dye removal with RO membrane as 97.2%, 99.58% and 99.9% for acid red, reactive black and reactive blue dyes, respectively. With NF membrane, the final dye removal were as 93.77%, 95.67%, and 97% for red, black and blue dyes, respectively. The presence of salt (particularly NaCl) in the dye solution resulted in a higher color removal with a permeate flux decline. It was confirmed that pH of solution had a positive impact on dye removal while feed temperature showed a different image. A comparison was made between the results of dye removal in biological and membrane methods. The results showed that membrane method had higher removal potential with lower effective cost. The present study indicates that the use of NF membrane in dye removal from the effluent of Iraqi textile mills is promising.

Membrane separation; Synthetic dyes; Reverse osmosis; Nanofiltration; Wastewater reuse