Treatment options for wastewater effluents from pharmaceutical companies
Deegan, A.M., Shaik, B., Nolan, K., Urell, K., Oelgemöller, M., Tobin, J., and Morrissey, A. (2011) Treatment options for wastewater effluents from pharmaceutical companies. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 8 (3). pp. 649-666.
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In recent years, concerns about the occurrence and fate of active pharmaceutical ingredients, solvents, intermediates and raw materials that could be present in water and wastewater including pharmaceutical industry wastewater has gained increasing attention. Traditional wastewater treatment methods, such as activated sludge, are not sufficient for the complete removal of active pharmaceutical ingredients and other wastewater constituents from these waters. As a result, complementary treatment methods such as membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and activated carbon are often used in conjunction with the traditional methods for treatment of industrial wastewater. Most of the literature published to date has been on the treatment of municipal wastewater. However, there is a growing body of research that looks at the presence of active pharmaceutical ingredients in industrial wastewater, the treatment of these wastewaters and the removal rates. This article, reviews these treatment methods and includes both traditional methods and advanced oxidation processes. The paper concludes by showing that the problem of pharmaceuticals in wastewaters cannot be solved merely by adopting end of pipe measures. At source measures, such as replacement of critical chemicals, reduction in raw material consumption should continue to be pursued as the top priority.
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