Closed-loop wAter Systems in textile industrial distriCts: orchestrAteD rEmoval of emerging pollutants from textile wastewater

Emerging contaminants have been a focus of attention by the scientific community for many years and, more recently, by supervisory bodies, both at the European and national levels. It is a very broad category of chemical substances – present in the environment in concentrations of the order of ng/l – µg/l – persistent and biologically active.

Limiting the use of these substances at sources in order to reduce their presence in the environment is a reasonable route, a practice that in some cases European and international textile companies are already voluntarily operating. 

However, for some products, this is difficult to implement and therefore both prevention and control strategies should be pursued in parallel. Furthermore, some of these substances are particularly persistent and have been used over the decades by several industrial sectors, thus they appear to be ubiquitous in various environmental media, even if present in low concentrations.

For these reasons it is important to study methods and tools for removing diffused micro-pollutants from the environment and in particular from water: a fundamental role in the control of environmental pollution by micro-pollutants is assumed by wastewater treatment plants, but not until now designed for removing such complex substances, so different from each other and at such low concentrations.

life cascade

Start date: 1st October 2023
Duration: 48 months

The CASCADE  project is aimed at evaluating at a laboratory scale and testing at a demonstrative scale a series of treatment technologies to remove PFAS and Microplastics from wastewater both at the level of textile companies and at the level of centralized wastewater treatment plants.


PFAS are among the most persistent emerging micropollutants and among the substances most studied by researchers in recent years, due to their impact on the environment and on human health, so much so that they are subject to great attention by regulatory bodies.

In the CASCADE project, two categories of emerging (micro) pollutants of great interest in the textile sector have been selected: poly- and per-fluorinated compounds (PFAS) and Microplastics.


Microplastics in water are the second addressed problem, whose origin is partly connected to the production cycle and deterioration during the use of textile products containing synthetic fibers.