Science Alert
Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
  Year: 2018 | Volume: 11 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 209-219
DOI: 10.3923/jest.2018.209.219
Sustainable Approach for Pharmaceutical Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Case Study
M.E. Fawzy, I. Abdelfattah, M.E. Abuarab, E. Mostafa, K.M. Aboelghait and M.H. El-Awady

Background and Objectives: Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PCP) are used to cure humans and animals. This industry consumes a huge amount of water during their manufacturing process. The wastewater discharged from it is contaminated by organic and inorganic matters which can be toxic to the ecosystem. The main goal of this study was the treatment of hazardous pharmaceutical wastewater containing low phenol content using activated sludge process (ASP) in combination with UV-free surface reactor process (UV-FSR) as a post treatment for disinfection. Materials and Methods: Environmental screening for the raw materials used in the manufacturing process at the pharmaceutical industry was investigated. Also, extensive physcio-chemical characterization for real pharmaceutical wastewater was carried out before and after each treatment step. Moreover, respiration activity test was done to investigate the toxicity of the raw pharmaceutical wastewater as well as the treated effluent using respiration activity method. Determination of the optimum operating conditions for the ASP and UV-FSR were achieved. Results: The wastewater collected from the end-off-pipe were characterized by high organic loads represented by chemical and biological oxygen demands (COD, BOD5) and high content of total suspended solids (TSS). Their average values were 3200 mgO2 L1, 1690 mgO2 L1 and 296 mg L1, respectively; the main source of pollution comes from the syrup department. The wastewater contains three β-lactams antibiotics one belongs to cephalosporin (cephalexin and cefuroxime) while the other two belong to penicillin’s (ampicillin and amoxicillin) and other ingredients. However, operation of the ASP at a detention time of 6 h was capable for the degradation of the wastewater through sorption processes and hydroxylation. The average removal values of COD, BOD and TSS were 98.57, 98.99 and 98.31% with a residual value of 45.6, 17 and 5 mg O L1, respectively. Furthermore, using UV-FSR for the elimination of Escherichia coli (E. coli ), intestinal nematodes with the optimum UV-dose of 1.8 m Ws cm2 was carried out. Conclusion: This treatment approach produces a good quality of treated effluent complying with the Egyptian code of practice (ECP 501/2015) for reuse in agricultural purposes.
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14 December, 2019
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