Wastewater treatment from Pharmaceutical Industry

Water is used widely as a raw material, ingredient, and solvent during the production of pharmaceutical products. It is used in the processing, formulation, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates, compendial articles, and analytical reagents.

Before you go ahead with a technique for treating wastewater from pharmaceutical industry, there are certain factors that need to be carefuly analysed. The production rate, the specific preparation being carried out and the activities that are generating the wastewater along with the diverse products present in it need to be examined. Washing equipment towards the end of the production process produces a large amount of wastewater.

Different Treatment Techniques

  • Activated sludge biological process
    Activated sludge is probably the most versatile and widely used biological treatment process. Even though the process is appropriate in every climate, the treatment capacity will be less in colder environments. Part of a complex treatment system, activated sludge processes are usually used after primary treatment and in certain cases followed by a final polishing step.
  • Moving bed biofilm reactor process (MBBR)
    MBBR processes self-maintain an optimum level of productive biofilm, hence the treatment is cost effective and requires minimal maintenance. Unlike activated sludge systems, MBBR systems don’t require the sludge to be recycled. Using MBBR as a retrofit increases the capacity of the existing plant
  • Anaerobic digestion process
    The advantages of opting for anaerobic digestion process are many; it can withstand high-organic loading and sludge production and operating cost are less.
    Mechanical steam compression vacuum evaporators and advanced oxidation process are also viable treatment options.

It is mandatory to treat and purify pharmaceutical wastewater, as the complications of not doing so can be pretty serious, on the environment and people.