Skip to main content

API Removal from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Wastewater: Results of Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Performance

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

or click here to sign up for a free trial


Wyeth owns and operates an advanced industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Ireland. The facility is among the first full-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing sites to build and operate a wastewater treatment system specifically designed to remove Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) from wastewater. The major unit processes at the WWTP include: (1) equalization and pH control; (2) biological treatment; (3) membrane filtration; and (4) ozone oxidation/degassing and destruction and discharge to a local Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). Solids handing equipment includes screening of influent solids and thickening and centrifugation of waste activated sludge (biomass). This paper describes the process development work and then focuses on the full-scale performance of the treatment plant where: (1) estrogen APIs (17-α-estradiol; 17-β-estradiol (E2); 17-α-dihydroequilin; trimegestrone; estriol (E3); medrogestrone; norgestrel; and estradiol valerate) were removed to non-detectable levels; (2) estrogenicity was reduced from 3,843 ng/L to 3.16 ng/L, as 17β-estradiol equivalency; (3) the final effluent was shown to be non-toxic using the Microtox™ test; and; (4) the effluent is suitable for re-use as make-up water in cooling towers.

Keywords: API; MBR; Wastewater; endocrine disruptor; estrogen; estrogenicity; hormones; ozone; toxicity; treatment; wastewater re-use

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • 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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more