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Tikrit Journal of Engineering Sciences (2007) 14(2) 1-31

Sequential Anaerobic/Aerobic Treatment of Pharmaceutical Wastewater

Mohammed Ali I. Al-Hashimi Abbas Hadi Abbas
Building and Construction Eng. Dept., University of Technology, Iraq Environmental Eng. Dept., Tikrit University, Iraq


The continuous sequential biological anaerobic/aerobic treatment of Samarra Drugs Factory wastewater (pharmaceutical wastewater) was evaluated under different operation conditions of hydraulic retention time (HRT). A pilot plant of upflow anaerobic filter (UAF) was used for anaerobic stage followed by air diffuser for aerobic stage. The UAF was fabricated from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe with 14 cm diameter and 140 cm height. The UAF was packed with (2.54-3.82) cm inert gravel as a media .Three ports along the UAF were fixed at distance of (30cm) to evaluate the reactor efficiency with respect to the depth. The system was operated for (135days) continuously .Seeding and acclimation of anaerobic bacteria for start- up of UAF was achieved within (34days) by using glucose and trace nutrient with gradually replacing pharmaceutical wastewater, then the system was operated completely with pharmaceutical wastewater for three runs with three values of HRT, each run was 30 days. The values of HRT were (24 hrs, 18hrs, and 12hrs) for anaerobic stage and (20 hrs, 15hrs, and 10hrs) for aerobic stage respectively. The UAF was operated with mesophilic bacterial growth, in which the temperature maintained with the range of 35-37 oC. The removal efficiency for chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) Nitrate (NO3), Phosphate (PO4), Sulphate (SO4), Total suspended solids (TSS) by anaerobic filter were evaluated, while only the removal efficiency for COD and BOD were evaluated with the sequential anaerobic/aerobic treatment. The system was subjected to pharmaceutical wastewater with COD concentration ranged (740-1100 mg/L) and BOD concentration ranged (298- 400 mg/L). The removal efficiency of COD and BOD were 87%, 90% for anaerobic stage and 92%, 93% for anaerobic/aerobic stage respectively. The biogas production was (0.55 m3/Kg COD removed). The efficiency of anaerobic filter with respect to the depth showed that the first third was the more effective in COD removal.

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KeywordsHydraulic retention time (HRT), Upflow anaerobic filter (UAF).

How to cite

TJES: Al-Hashimi MAI, Abbas AH. Sequential Anaerobic/Aerobic Treatment of Pharmaceutical WastewaterTikrit Journal of Engineering Sciences 2007; 14(2): 1-31.
APA: Al-Hashimi, M. A. I., & Abbas, A. H. (2007). Sequential Anaerobic/Aerobic Treatment of Pharmaceutical Wastewater. Tikrit Journal of Engineering Sciences, 14(2), 1-31.