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TREATMENT OF PHARMACEUTICAL WASTEWATERS BY FENTON'S OXIDATION FOLLOWED BY ACTIVATED SLUDGE: A CASE STUDY

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The objective of the study was to investigate the applicability of Fenton's oxidation for the pretreatment of the pharmaceutical effluents from a drug manufacturing facility, and to design a wastewater treatment plant to replace the existing package treatment system which failed to meet the required discharge standards. The optimal operational conditions determined in the treatability studies indicated that the treatment efficiency was best at an initial pH of 3.5 and second stage (coagulation) pH of 7. The effect of temperature on overall treatment efficiency was found to be practically negligible. For all products, average COD removal efficiency was highest when the ratio of hydrogen peroxide to ferric ions available in the system were between 150-300. At a constant H2O2/Fe+2 ratio of about 170, the minimum dosage studied; 20 L H2O2 and 0.33 kg FeSO4 per m3 pharmaceutical wastewater, provided 45% to 65% COD removal. For simplicity and ease of operation, this dosage was selected for the Fenton's oxidation unit, instead of defining different optimal dosages for each product. Monitoring of the Drogsan Wastewater Treatment Plant (DWTP), which replaced the previously operated package treatment system, showed that the efficiency of Fenton's oxidation followed by biological treatment, that is the overall treatment efficiency for Fenton's oxidation and biological treatment, is around %98 for COD removal and comply with the BOD5 limit set by the Turkish Water Pollution Control Regulation (<50 mg/L). The efficiency of the Fen-Ox unit (Fenton's oxidation) was around 45- 50% and the efficiency in the two sequencing batch reactors operating in series was around 98%, regarding the COD removal. Treatment with Fenton's oxidation also improved the biodegradability and reduced the toxicity of the pharmaceutical wastewaters. Thus, Fenton's oxidation was an effective pretreatment method for the non-biodegradable portions of the pharmaceutical wastewater, which renders them more biodegradable for following biological processes. Based on published information, DWTP is the first in Turkey that utilizes an advanced oxidation process, Fenton's oxidation, for the treatment of industrial wastewaters.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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