Pharmaceutical Wastewater

Pharmaceutical Wastewater

Treatment for pharmaceuticals entering the waters around us

The pharmaceutical industry generates a wide variety of wastewaters contaminated with highly bio-active chemicals such as anti-depressants, opiates, anti-fungals, antibiotics, statins, hormones, marijuana, chemotherapy drugs and industrial solvents such as BTEX, which is used in pharmaceutical manufacture.

In addition, increasing awareness of persistent bio-active contaminants downstream of wastewater treatment plants and landfills has created an urgent need to develop novel approaches to treat the many varied wastewaters contaminated with drugs, hormones and pharmaceuticals. For example, the Province of British Columbia in Canada and other jurisdictions regulates the highly bioactive and environmentally persistent synthetic estrogen (EE2 = Ethinylestradiol) found in the birth control pill, at 5 parts per trillion (5 ng/L) due to its deleterious effect on trout and minnow reproduction at those levels.

BI Pure Water’s Advanced Oxidation Process – Biperliminate™ – has been tested to destroy the compounds in illegal drugs, hormones and prescription pharmaceuticals safely and at lower cost. The contaminants are converted into harmless fatty acids (organic acids) and carbonate ions. Recent pilot testing has demonstrated for example the >98% destruction of 12 parts per million of the very difficult-to-destroy anti-fungal drug 1,2,4 Triazole, for less than 60 cents per cubic meter.

Biperliminate™ destroys the aromatic carbon functionality (“Benzene rings” or “phenyl groups”) in nearly all drugs and hormones and prefers these aromatics to their background chemicals such as sugars and simple hydrocarbons. Selectivity makes Biperliminate™ 5-10 times less expensive in both operating and capital costs than competing AOPs such as Ozone and UV/Peroxide and does not require the transport of dangerous goods nor does it produce hazardous gases or vapours.

A Biperliminate™ system typically delivers far more effective remediation of drug residues for an operating cost of 30-60 cents per cubic meter or less and a capital cost of $100-$300 per cubic meter per day or less.

As awareness and regulation catch up with the reality of the effects of these contaminants in the biosphere, in our water, and in our food, the incentive to innovate in the treatment of pharmaceutical wastewaters will certainly increase.

Call today to consult on your wastewaters, or email us.