Bioremediation of Pharmaceutical Wastes

Bioremediation of Pharmaceutical Wastes

Alka Bali (Panjab University, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2325-3.ch016
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The astounding increase in the use of pharmaceuticals in the last decade has raised concerns over their occurrence in the soils and wastewaters posing potential dangers to the general public health and environment. Considering the limitations of chemical remediation measures in treatment of recalcitrant xenobiotics, several bioremediation measures are being currently investigated and proposed for removal of pharmaceutical contaminants from the environment. Several bacterial, fungal and plant species have shown promising bioremediation potential with regard to the removal of pharmaceuticals. Varying configurations of anaerobic and aerobic reactors have been utilized for pharmaceutical wastewater treatment. This chapter is intended to give a compilation and overview of the various types of bioremediation measures currently being employed or investigated to remove the pharmaceutical pollutants.
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Pharmaceutical Wastes And Their Environmental Impact

In recent times, concerns are being raised over the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment and their potential adverse effects on general public health, flora and fauna and the aquatic environment. The pharmaceuticals may be categorized into four classes based on their occurrence in environment and their risk effects as:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Anaerobic: A process occurring in the absence of oxygen.

Aerobic: A process requiring the presence of oxygen.

Phytoremediation: Use of green plants and solar energy for degradation and removal of environmental contaminants.

BOD: Biochemical oxygen demand or biological oxygen demand. It is an important water quality parameter representing the amount of dissolved oxygen needed for biodegradation of organic material present in a given water sample at certain temperature over a specific time period.

Mycoremediation: Bioremediation method employing fungi to degrade or accumulate organic and heavy metal contaminants in the environment.

COD: Chemical oxygen demand is a water quality parameter (unit mg/L) based on chemical oxidation methods employing strong oxidizing agents.

Membrane Bioreactor: Wastewater treatment process in which a membrane filter process like microfiltration or ultrafiltration is integrated with a biological process like suspended growth bioreactor yielding high quality treated effluent.

Bacterial Bioremediation: Treatment of wastewater with bacteria having the capability to consume or digest the chemical contaminants including drugs and pharmaceuticals.

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