Combined Methods of Highly Polluted Pharmaceutical Wastewater Treatment – a Case Study of High Recovery
Davor Dolar1, Krešimir Košutić1, Tatjana Ignjatić Zokić2, Laszlo Sipos2, Marinko Markić2, Mario Župan2
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1 Department of Physical Chemistry,
2 Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry,
Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Marulićev trg 19, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2013;22(6):1677–1683
Our study details the investigation of real pharmaceutical wastewater (PhWW) treatment. A combina- tion of the Fenton process, sand filtration, ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), and reverse osmosis (RO) was tested. The sample of PhWW was highly polluted, containing high chemical oxygen demand (COD, 25,000 mg·L-1), total organic carbon (TOC, 4,940 mg·L-1), conductivity (κ, 40,000 mg·L-1), and total N (4,054 mg·L-1) values. The pretreatment (Fenton, sand filter, UF) decreased the above parameters for 62%, 56%, 10%, and 88%, respectively. An additional membrane treatment was required since the values obtained in the pre- treatment were above maximum contaminant levels (MCLS). The next membrane step with the loose NF membrane (HL) COD, TOC, conductivity, and total N additionally decreased for 87%, 71%, 24%, and 32%, respectively. Tight NF (NF90, NF270) and RO (XLE) membranes were used in the final step and, according to the obtained parameters, membrane permeate streams could be discharged into the sewer without any risk to the ecosystem. Finally, and the most importantly, the combined methods of the pharmaceutical wastewater treatment resulted in high recovery of more than 90%.