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In September 1998, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) promulgated the final rules regarding wastewater effluent guidelines and standards for the pharmaceutical industry. The membrane biological reactor (MBR) represents an ideal biosystem configuration for treatment of pharmaceutical wastewaters, typically variable in composition and volume, and normally containing a number of slowly biodegradable organic compounds. This paper will discuss full scale application of the MBR technology at two different pharmaceutical plant sites in the United States to meet the pretreatment regulations prior to wastewater discharge to the local publicly owned treatment works (POTW). For each of the case studies presented, the use of an MBR has significantly reduced off-site wastewater disposal costs, and the plants that installed the systems are on track for rapid payback on their capital investment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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