Evaluating dye recovery and reusability potential from dyebath effluent using forward osmosis membranes for minimum liquid discharge.

Maria Yasmeen, Muhammad Saqib Nawaz, Kamran Manzoor, Sher Jamal Khan, NorEddine Ghaffour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focuses on the evaluation of dye recovery and reuse potential from denim and polyester effluents using forward osmosis (FO). A cationic surfactant, tetraethylammonium bromide (TEAB), was used as the draw solution (DS). After optimizing the DS and feed solution (FS) concentrations and temperatures in batch experiments, a DS concentration of 0.75 M was selected at a 60 °C temperature for the semi-continuous mode. It generated a high flux of 18 L/m2/h and a low reverse solute flux (RSF) of 0.4 g/m2/h with 100% dye rejection. Dye reconcentration of 82–98% was achieved in the dyebath effluents. The unique property of surfactants to combine hundreds of monomers into micelle resulted in negligible RSF. Reversible fouling was observed on the membrane active layer, and NaOH and citric acid cleaning achieved about 95% of flux recovery. The functional groups on the membrane's active layer remained undisturbed due to foulant interactions showing its chemical stability against reactive dyes. Recovered dye characterization using 1D proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1HNMR) analysis depicted a 100% structural resemblance to the original dye. Hence, it can be reused for dyeing the next batch. Diluted TEAB solution can be used as fabric detergent and softener within the same textile industry in the finishing process. A minimum liquid and persistent pollutant (dyes) discharge is achieved by adopting the methodology proposed in this work with a strong potential of translating it to an industrial scale.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139433
StatePublished - Jul 5 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-07-12
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support and resources provided for this study through MS Research Grant by National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan, and WaterAid Pakistan (WAP) under Partnership Agreement No. 6IN03.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


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