Membrane Technology for Treatment of Pharmaceutical Wastewaters: A Novel Approach

Membrane Technology for Treatment of Pharmaceutical Wastewaters: A Novel Approach

Saritha Vara (GITAM University (Deemed), India), Madhavi Konni (Vignan's Institute of Engineering For Women, India) and Manoj Kumar Karnena (GITAM University (Deemed), India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0369-0.ch021


It is estimated 90% of the available water resources will be expended in 15 years and by 2025, nearly 60% of the world population will have scarcity of water if the rate of consumption continues at its present level. The mounting use of pharmaceuticals, with enhanced production, have driven these industrial effluents into so-called emerging pollutants that have become a new environmental problem. Pharmaceutical wastewater, specifically categorized by complex components, are ending up polluting natural water bodies, making it necessary to remove such substances from the wastewaters to prevent harm to the natural environment. Amid options available for treating these effluents, biological processes are cost-effective and environmentally safe alternatives to chemical methods. One of the recent advances includes use of membrane technology. Among these, membrane bioreactor and reverse osmosis technologies are becoming advanced and promising options for wastewater treatment, and reuse at a reduced price is making it economically feasible.
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Characteristics Of Pharmaceutical Wastewaters

Water is a crucial raw material for pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing. Persistent and good quality water supply is required for a varied range of operations including production, material processing, and cooling. This results in the generation of non-uniform waste streams at any point in the processing period (Frick et al., 2005). Furthermore, majority of pharmaceutical industries operate as a batch process using different raw materials as well as production processes resulting in the release of varied nature of wastewater (Rizwan et al., 2013; CAO et al., 2013; Guo et al., 2017). General characterization of pharmaceutical wastewater is presented in Table 1 (Rong-Rong et al., 2003).

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