Anionic, cationic and nonionic surfactants being frequently employed in the textile preparation process were subjected to H2O2/UV-C treatment. As a consequence of the considerable number of parameters affecting the H2O2/UV-C process, an experimental design methodology was used to mathematically describe and optimize the single and combined influences of the critical process variables treatment time, initial H2O2 concentration and chemical oxygen demand (COD) on parent pollutant (surfactant) as well as organic carbon (COD and total organic carbon (TOC)) removal efficiencies. Multivariate analysis was based on two different photochemical treatment targets; (i) full oxidation/complete treatment of the surfactants or. alternatively, (ii) partial oxidation/pretreatment of the surfactants to comply with the legislative discharge requirements. According to the established polynomial regression models, the process independent variables "treatment time" (exerting a positive effect) and "initial COD content" (exerting a negative effect) played more significant roles in surfactant photodegradation than the process variable "initial H2O2 concentration" under the studied experimental conditions. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.