Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries produce a wide range of products, which usually require a large number of chemicals, materials and substances used in the whole process operation.
The waste streams generated in these industries can contain a large number of pollutants, toxins, nutrients and organics, presenting unique challenges in the treatment, especially as regulations become more stringent.
In addition, as in other industrial manufacturing sectors, water is a key component of pharmaceutical and chemical water treatment system manufacturing operations; a consistent high-quality supply is required for a range of purposes, including production, material processing and cooling. As the disruption of raw water supply is a major problem, more and more companies are turning to water efficiency measures to help mitigate the risks associated with water shortage.
Another issue most notably in the pharmaceutical industry relates to contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) including pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). These compounds are increasingly being detected in surface waters, driven largely by advances in analytical detection technologies, enabling constituents to be measured down to levels that were previously thought not possible. The EPA, which prepared a white paper detailing technical issues and recommendations in regards to the development of CEC criteria, has stated that CEC compounds may have an impact on aquatic life.
More and more regions, especially those vulnerable to drought and water shortage, pay more and more attention to water shortage. Reducing water supply is particularly damaging for industries that rely on high-quality process water for manufacturing. In order to reduce the potential risk of water shortage and achieve greater water security, industrial companies are increasingly implementing strategies to improve water efficiency.
Wastewater from industrial production process in pharmaceutical industry usually has the characteristics of high-strength organic wastewater, which is difficult to be managed by conventional wastewater treatment.
According to John Brittan, technical director of pharmaceutical and microelectronic markets at Siemens Water technologies, the four main components of pharmaceutical plant wastewater are of general concern to regulators, including oil, pH, suspended solids and biological oxygen demand / chemical oxygen demand levels. But in addition to these ingredients, Britan points out that some more progressive States and cities are beginning to pay attention to the mineral content of wastewater from pharmaceutical plants.
According to the drugs produced, the mineral concentration of inorganic wastewater may be different, or may be affected by the source of raw water inflow.