The continuous electrochemical treatment of industrial textile wastewater in a tubular reactor was investigated. The synthetic wastewater was based on the real process information of pretreatment and dyeing stages of the industrial mercerized and non-mercerized cotton and viscon production. The effects of residence time on chemical oxygen demand (COD), color and turbidity removals and pH change were studied under response surface optimized conditions of 30 degrees C, 25 g/L electrolyte concentration and 3505 mg/LCOD feed concentration with 123.97 mA/cm(2) current density. Increasing residence time resulted in steady profiles of COD and color removals with higher treatment performances. The best column performance was realized at 3 h of residence time as 53.5% and 99.3% for COD and color removals, respectively, at the expense of 193.1 kWh/kg COD with a mass transfer coefficient of 9.47 x 10(-6) m/s. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.