Abstract The chemical composition and aluminum speciation of sludge incineration residue (SIR) were determined. Cementation of aluminum from sulfuric acid solution using SIR was studied. The results showed that acid-soluble inorganic aluminum was the predominant component in the sludge, and the total leached aluminum increased from 62.2% to 92.9% after incineration. Sulfuric acid dosage and reaction time were found to affect aluminum recovery positively. Conversely, the increase in temperature significantly inhibited recovery reactions. The optimized leaching condition was 1.66 g sulfuric acid per gram of SIR with a reaction time of 3 hr at 20°C, resulting in the highest aluminum leaching rate of 96.7%. Compared to commercial aluminum sulfate solution coagulants, the leaching solution demonstrated higher COD Cr, turbidity and color removal efficiency for textile wastewater.