COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Combined chemical and biological oxidation of penicillin formulation effluent

I Arslan Alaton, S Dogruel, E Baykal, G Gerone
Journal of Environmental Management 2004, 73 (2): 155-63
15380320
Antibiotic formulation effluent is well known for its important contribution to environmental pollution due to its fluctuating and recalcitrant nature. In the present study, the chemical treatability of penicillin formulation effluent (average filtered COD(o)=830 mg/l; average soluble COD(o)=615 mg/l; pH(o)=6.9) bearing the active substances penicillin Amoxicillin Trihydrate (C(16)H(19)N(3)O(5)S.3H(2)O) and the beta-lactamase inhibitor Potassium Clavulanate (C(8)H(8)KNO(5)) has been investigated. For this purpose, the penicillin formulation effluent was subjected to ozonation (applied ozone dose=2500 mg/(lxh)) at varying pH (2.5-12.0) and O(3)+H(2)O(2) (perozonation) at different initial H(2)O(2) concentrations (=2-40 mM) and pH 10.5. According to the experimental results, the overall Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) removal efficiency varied between 10 and 56% for ozonation and 30% (no H(2)O(2)) and 83% (20 mM H(2)O(2)) for the O(3)+H(2)O(2) process. The addition of H(2)O(2) improved the COD removal rates considerably even at the lowest studied H(2)O(2) concentration. An optimum H(2)O(2) concentration of 20 mM existed at which the highest COD removal efficiency and abatement kinetics were obtained. The ozone absorption rate ranged between 53% (ozonation) and 68% (perozonation). An ozone input of 800 mg/l in 20 min was sufficient to achieve the highest BOD(5)/COD (biodegradability) ratio (=0.45) and BOD(5) value (109 mg/l) for the pre-treated penicillin formulation effluent. After the establishment of optimum ozonation and perozonation conditions, mixtures of synthetic domestic wastewater+raw, ozonated and perozonated penicillin formulation effluent were subjected to biological activated sludge treatment at a food-to-microorganisms (F/M) ratio of 0.23 mg COD/(mg MLSSxd), using a consortium of acclimated microorganisms. COD removal efficiencies of the activated sludge process were 71, 81 and 72% for pharmaceutical wastewater containing synthetic domestic wastewater mixed with either raw, ozonated or perozonated formulation effluent, respectively. The ultimate COD value obtained after 24-h biotreatment of the synthetic domestic wastewater+pre-ozonated formulation effluent mixture was around 100 mg/l instead of 180 mg/l which was the final COD obtained for the wastewater mixture containing raw formulation effluent, indicating that pre-ozonation at least partially removed the non-biodegradable COD fraction of the formulation effluent.

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