Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Institutional Repository

Application of anaerobic biotechnology for pharmaceutical wastewater treatment

Chelliapan, Shreeshivadasan and Sallis, Paul J. (2011) Application of anaerobic biotechnology for pharmaceutical wastewater treatment. IIOAB Journal, 2 (1). pp. 13-21. ISSN 0976-3104

Full text not available from this repository.


The wastewater generated from pharmaceutical industry generally contain high organic load and the treatment is primarily carried out using two major types of biological methods; aerobic and anaerobic. However, due to high strength, it is infeasible to treat some pharmaceutical wastewater using aerobic biological processes. As an alternative, an anaerobic process is preferred to remove high strength organic matter. Anaerobic wastewater treatment is considered as the most cost effective solution for organically polluted industrial waste streams. In particular the development of high rate systems, in which hydraulic retention times (HRT) are uncoupled from solids retention times (SRT), has led to a worldwide acceptance of anaerobic wastewater treatment. In this paper, literature on anaerobic digestion, anaerobic reactor technology and existing anaerobic treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater are presented. In addition, fate of pharmaceuticals in the environment was also discussed in brief. A case study of a laboratory investigation into the treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater containing the antibiotic Tylosin in an anaerobic reactor was also given. Specifically, it was determined whether the anaerobic reactor could be used as a pre-treatment system at an existing pharmaceutical production plant. The performance of the reactor treating real pharmaceutical wastewater at various organic loading rate (OLR) was investigated and showed efficient substrate removal at low OLRs (0.43 – 1.86 kg COD.m-3 .d-1 ) by promoting efficient chemical oxygen demand (COD) reduction (70 – 75%). Under these conditions, an average of 95% Tylosin reduction was achieved in the UASR. However, increasing the OLRs to 3.73 kg COD.m-3 .d-1 by reducing the hydraulic retention time (HRT) (4 – 2 d) reduced the COD removal efficiency (45%). Changes in the organic loading affected the treatment performance of the anaerobic reactor, and at high OLRs, it was not able to withstand the short HRT, probably due to the complexity of pharmaceutical wastewater.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:aerobic biotechnology
Subjects:T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Divisions:Razak School of Engineering and Advanced Technology
ID Code:44743
Deposited By: Haliza Zainal
Deposited On:21 Apr 2015 03:31
Last Modified:30 Aug 2017 07:25

Repository Staff Only: item control page