Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals

Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals

The diversity of process waters within the chemical and pharmaceutical industry is enormous.

Typical characteristics for wastewaters from this sector are:

  • High organic content of which some is easy to degrade. Typically solvents like alcohols, glycols etc.
  • Large variations in flow and composition of the wastewater due to periodical production
  • May contain toxic and persistent substances
  • Sometimes high content of nitrogen and/or phosphorus.

Treatment processes to consider for these types of wastewaters:

  • Low load and/or multi stage pure MBBR-system
  • BAS-process

A typical wastewater from the chemical or pharmaceutical industry contains both easily degradable and more resistant organic matter. The composition of the water can often vary from day to day. A biofilm process has therefore many advantages compared to more sensitive process solutions such as an activated sludge process. It is in many cases advantageous to use a multi-step MBBR-process since this allow for the development of unique micro floras in the different process steps. By dividing the process into two or more steps, the process can be optimized for the removal of both very easily degradable and more hard-to-degrade organic matter.

Effluent discharge limits for the treated waters vary due to local authorities, customers and sensitivity of the receiving environments. The main treatment requirement is often for COD-removal, but it is sometimes also necessary to remove nutrients or to reach a certain level of toxicity-removal before discharge. Due to the toxic nature of some of these wastewaters, achieving the desired level of nutrient removal can sometimes be a challenge.

The diversity of wastewaters and effluent water quality call for customized treatment solutions. It is usually recommended to test wastewater in bench or pilot scale trials.

AnoxKaldnes has worked extensively with development of optimized treatment solutions for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry over the past twenty years. The biological wastewater treatment solutions from AnoxKaldnes are designed to meet the specific needs of our customers.Good examples of optimized and customized solutions for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry can be found at AstraZeneca and Cambrex in Sweden and at Grindex in Latvia.