Wastewater treatment in pharmaceutical industry
Water is the most important commodity that is used in practically every stage of the pharmaceutical and intermediate chemical manufacturing process.
Various wastewater treatment procedures are used in pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, including aerobic/anaerobic treatment, reverse osmosis, multimedia/carbon filtering, evaporation, and so on. Water is treated, recycled, reused, or released into the environment by various methods in order to comply with government regulations or avoid the problem of water scarcity.
What is ETP in pharmaceutical industry?
Various chemicals, solvents, and other substances that are dangerous to humans and animals are found in waste from pharmaceutical enterprises and drug production units. Technologies such as aerobic/anaerobic treatment, membrane filtration, and reverse osmosis are effective in decreasing Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in pharmaceutical effluent for various streams of this industry.
Stages involved in effluent treatment plant for pharmaceutical industry
1-Preliminary Treatment: Its goal is to physically separate pollutants that are huge in size. Fabric, paper, polymers, and wood logs, for example. This level/process includes the following:
• Screening: The very first processing step in a waste water treatment plant is screening. The objective of a screen is to remove big floating solids by having regular apertures.
• Sedimentation: It is a practical water treatment way of eliminating suspended materials from water using gravity.
• Grit Chamber: The wastewater that moves through the grit chamber eliminates the dense inorganic materials that have made their way into the sewers, such as gravel, metal shards, and sand. Grit elimination can help prevent pump damage and operational troubles.
• Clarifiers: Clarifiers are tanks with mechanical mechanisms for continuously removing sediments deposited by sedimentation prior to biological treatment.
2-Primary Treatment: The primary goal of this treatment is to remove floating and settleable contaminants such as suspended particles and organic waste. Physical and chemical approaches are used in this treatment.
It contains the following treatments:
• Flocculation: This is a physical process that does not involve charge neutralisation. It entails aggregating destabilised particles into big aggregates so that they may be easily removed from the water.
• Coagulation: It is a method in which coagulants are introduced to a liquid to help minute solid particles settle quickly into a bigger bulk. It allows for particle elimination through sedimentation and filtration.
• Neutralization: The major goal of this step is to keep the pH between 6 and 9 to fulfil the needs of the various processing units in the ETP system.
• Primary Clarifiers: These are used to decrease the velocity of the water to the point where organic materials settle to the bottom of the tank, and they also contain equipment for eliminating floating solids and greases from the surface.
3-Secondary or Biological Treatment: The goal of this treatment is to eliminate suspended particulates and residual organics from the effluent from the initial treatment. Biological and chemical mechanisms are involved in this stage.
• Activated Sludge Process: This method uses air and a biological floc made up of bacteria to clean industrial waste water.
• Aerated Lagoons: A processing pond with artificial aeration to increase waste water biological oxidation.
• Trickling Filters: Also known as sprinkling filters, trickling filters are extensively used for the biological treatment of home and industrial waste water.
• Rotating Biological Contactor: This method entails letting wastewater to contact a biological medium in order to remove pollutants before releasing the treated wastewater into the environment.
4-Tertiary Treatment: The goal of tertiary/advanced/disinfection treatment is to provide a last treatment stage to enhance the effluent quality to the appropriate level before it is reused, recycled, or discharged to the environment.
• Chemical Coagulation and Sedimentation: This technique is used to improve solids elimination from effluent following primary and secondary treatment.
• Filtration: To assure high-quality water, the cleared wastewater is first routed through an adjacent filtration plant with massive filter blocks.
• Reverse Osmosis: This method involves forcing wastewater through a membrane that traps impurities on one side while allowing clean water to pass through on the other.
• UV Disinfection: This type of disinfectant is appropriate for industrial waste water. By maintaining water purity, it leaves no leftover disinfection in the water. There are no disinfection by-products produced.
Netsol Water designs, manufactures and installs Effluent treatment plants for various sectors including pharmaceuticals to treat various chemicals generated from these industries. This water is harmful for aquatic as well as human life if directly disposed of in rivers or streams.