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Pharmaceutical – Process Water

Ozone’s disinfecting ability to inhibit microbiological growth in a polymer solution for the pharmaceutical industry has been proven in several locations.

Polymers are often added to process water to get desired characteristics such as lubrication, cooling or preservative effect.

The process waters lifespan is limited in many cases by the microbiological growth which leading to increased costs followed by frequent replacement of the water, disinfection demands, more chemicals and unproductive work.

We could through a series of successful laboratory tests,   show the possibility of decreasing the microbiological activity and thus prolonging the polymer solutions lifespan. The ozone treatment inhibited the gram positive yeast fungi to proliferate, and thus taking longer to reach the max CFU limits. The solution’s lifespan is prolonged.

Pharmaceutical – Waste Water Treatment:

Effluent wastewater from an industrial facility may carry a broad and variable range of contaminants, including BOD, COD, colour, phenols, cyanides, sanitary waste and a host of complex chemicals. Ozone, in combination with other physical, chemical or biological processes, has the potential to treat complex industrial wastes due to its strong oxidative nature. In combination with medium pressure UV, ozone exhibits the power of advanced oxidation for TOC reduction, as well as destruction of organics. Potential industries that can benefit from ozone include pharmaceuticals, textiles, automotive, foundry, etc.

Waste waters from pharmaceutical industries are complex, with a variable nature. The wastewater generated from pharmaceutical industry generally liquid – based wastewater generated in the various processes like, fermentation, extraction, chemical synthesis. Wastewater consists of high organic content thereby making the wastewater as high COD wastewater.

Ozone Treatment for Green Sustainable Pharmaceutical Waste Water Treatment Recycling

The use of ozone in the treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater is attractive mainly because it may achieve the complete conversion of pollutants to CO2 and H2O, reducing toxicity and improving biodegradability.

Ozone Treatment for Pharmaceutical Wastewater Treatment Solutions :

  •  Ozone reduces COD
  •  Ozone reduces BOD
  •  Ozone removes Colour
  •  Ozone eliminates Odour
  •  Ozonation increases  the biodegradation effectiveness
  •  Decomposes rapidly, leaving no harmful by-products
  •  Increase efficiency of Filter


Benefits of Ozone Generator in Pharmaceutical Industry Wastewater Treatment Plants

  •  Due to its unstable physical property, it should be generated at the point of application for use in treatment purposes
  •  After chemical oxidation residual ozone reverts to oxygen
  •  Environment friendly gas
  •  Can be retrofitted to existing and new treatment plant
  •  Low operating cost
  •  Easy to operate & handle


Research Information:

Pharmaceutical Wastewater Ozonation at Industrial Scale.


The pharmaceutical production industries generate wastewaters that should be properly treated because in some cases they are highly toxic. For this reason the safe inactivation before disposing them into the environment must be guarantee. This paper deals with an ozone treatment system for the wastewaters generated in the cytostatic production. The cytostatics present in the wastewaters treatment were 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, doxorubicin and cytarabine. The treated wastewaters fulfilled the parameters established in the Cuban guidelines for disposal. This treatment system was able to inactivate cytostatic wastewaters in an efficient way. It is viable economically and it does not produce harmful wastes to the environment.

Download complete article here:  Cuba-research-paper-V1.pdf


Oxidation of Pharmaceuticals during Ozonation of Municipal Wastewater Effluents:  A Pilot Study



To reduce the release of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors into the aquatic environment or to remove them from wastewater intended for direct or indirect reuse, the application of advanced wastewater treatment may be required. In the present study, municipal wastewater effluents were treated with ozone (O3) in a pilot-scale plant consisting of two bubble columns. The investigated effluents, which varied in suspended solids concentrations, comprised an effluent of conventional activated sludge treatment (CAS), the same effluent dosed with 15 mg of TSS L-1 of activated sludge (CAS + SS), and the effluent of a membrane bioreactor pilot plant (MBR). Selected classes of pharmaceuticals were spiked in the wastewater at realistic levels ranging from 0.5 to 5 μg L-1. Samples taken at the inlet and the outlet of the pilot plant were analyzed with liquid chromatography (LC)−electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (MS). Macrolide and sulfonamide antibiotics, estrogens, and the acidic pharmaceuticals diclofenac, naproxen, and indomethacin were oxidized by more than 90−99% for O3 doses ≥ 2 mg L-1 in all effluents. X-ray contrast media and a few acidic pharmaceuticals were only partly oxidized, but no significant differences were observed among the three effluents. These results show that many pharmaceuticals present in wastewater can be efficiently oxidized with O3 and that suspended solids have only a minor influence on the oxidation efficiency of nonsorbing micropollutants.

Oxidation of Pharmaceuticals during Ozonation and Advanced Oxidation Processes


This study investigates the oxidation of pharmaceuticals during conventional ozonation and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) applied in drinking water treatment. In a first step, second-order rate constants for the reactions of selected pharmaceuticals with ozone (kO3) and OH radicals (kOH) were determined in bench-scale experiments (in brackets apparent kO3at pH 7 and T = 20 °C):  bezafibrate (590 ± 50 M-1 s-1), carbamazepine (3 × 105 M-1 s-1), diazepam (0.75 ± 0.15 M-1 s-1), diclofenac (1 × 106 M-1 s-1), 17α-ethinylestradiol (3 × 106 M-1 s-1), ibuprofen (9.6 ± 1.0 M-1 s-1), iopromide (<0.8 M-1 s-1), sulfamethoxazole (2.5 × 106 M-1s-1), and roxithromycin (7 × 104 M-1 s-1). For five of the pharmaceuticals the apparent kO3 at pH 7 was >5 × 104 M-1 s-1, indicating that these compounds are completely transformed during ozonation processes. Values for kOH ranged from 3.3 to 9.8 × 109 M-1 s-1. Compared to other important micropollutants such as MTBE and atrazine, the selected pharmaceuticals reacted about two to three times faster with OH radicals. In the second part of the study, oxidation kinetics of the selected pharmaceuticals were investigated in ozonation experiments performed in different natural waters. It could be shown that the second-order rate constants determined in pure aqueous solution could be applied to predict the behavior of pharmaceuticals dissolved in natural waters. Overall it can be concluded that ozonation and AOPs are promising processes for an efficient removal of pharmaceuticals in drinking waters.