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Wastewater Treatment Process (Effluent Treatment)

Learn how to treat the waste water or effluent from pharmaceutical using biological and chemical process
Pharmaceutical wastewater contains about 99.99% of water and 0.01% of other materials in the form of dissolved solids. Generally the pharmaceutical wastewater contains pharmaceutical drugs (API and Excepients) from production, chemicals and solvents from quality control and oil and grease from utility and maintenance.

It is necessary to treat the wastewater and purify to a recommended level because pharmaceutical waste water pollutants are great source of water pollution. 

Wastewater Treatment
Waste Water Treatment

Wastewater in pharmaceutical is treated in following manner
Preliminary Treatment: The waste water is passed through the bar screen chamber, where a fine bar screen is provided to remove the floating particles from the waste water. The Water is collected in collection tank.

Aeration: Now collected water is aerated by blowing air through air blower for 24 hours. After aeration the water is transferred to the neutralization tank.

Neutralization: In neutralization tank pH of waste water is adjusted between 6 to 7 by adding aluminum bisulphate or lime solution. If effluent is acidic then add the lime solution (2.0 kg lime in 100 lit. of water) and if effluent is basic then add aluminum bisulphate solution (2.0 kg aluminum in 100 lit. of water) to maintain the pH. Transfer the effluent to settling tank.

Flocculation and coagulation: Flocculating agent is added to the effluent to flocculate the suspended material. Alum is widely used as a flocculating agent in water treatment plants. Alum solution is added with the continuous mixing by aeration. Polyelectrolyte solution is also added to coagulate the flock of the suspended materials in the form of sludge at the bottom of the tank. The concentration of the both solution is depend upon the suspended material in the effluent. Effluent is transferred to the septic tank.

Biological Degradation: Nutrients are added to the septic tank for the proper growth of bacteria that degrade the organic matter of the effluent. Urea and di ammonium phosphate solution is added and aerated for 24 hours and transferred to settling tank. Sludge is separated from the settling tank and the water is filtered through activated carbon filter.

Filtration: Treated effluent is then passed through activated carbon filter to remove coloring material and find the clear water.

Treated water is then analyzed for the required quality. Following is the specification for the treated waste water that can be used for irrigation.

6.5 – 8.0
Suspended Solids
100 mg/lit.
2100 mg/lit.
250 mg/lit.
100 mg/lit.
Oil & Grease
10 mg/lit.

Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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