Treatment and Recycling of Wastewater from Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Rasna Gupta
  • Bindu Sati
  • Ankit Gupta
Part of the Applied Environmental Science and Engineering for a Sustainable Future book series (AESE)


Pharmaceutical compounds are used for many beneficial purposes in the modern society, but they also contaminate surrounding environment during their exposure. They may enter the environment through numerous routes e.g. treated wastewater discharge, sewage from landfills, sewer lines, runoff from animal wastes and land application of manure fertilizers. The pharmaceutical wastewater consists of high concentration of organic matter, microbial toxicants, high salt concentration and non-biodegradable compounds. Due to limited water resources, it is essential to understand and develop the methodologies for treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater. Trace amounts of suspended solids and dissolved organic matter still persist even after secondary treatment, therefore, advanced treatment is prerequisite in order to improve the quality of pharmaceutical wastewater. In this chapter, the emphasis is mostly on best available technologies to remove and recycle the pharmaceutical wastewater. Effluents arising from different sectors of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), bulk drugs and related pharmaceutics, consuming a bulk amount of water are evaluated and the strategies are destined to recover valuable compounds upto a larger extent, and finally wastewater treatment is discussed. The complete removal of pharmaceutics from wastewater is not feasible with a single technology. The hybrid wastewater treatment appears to be the best comprising conventional treatment plans in conjunction with biological and advanced post-treatment methods. The recommendations provided in this analysis will be useful for the treatment of wastewater resulting from the pharmaceutical industry.


Pharmaceutical drugs Active pharmaceutical ingredients Organic pollutants Bioremediation Phytoremediation Hybrid wastewater treatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rasna Gupta
    • 1
  • Bindu Sati
    • 2
  • Ankit Gupta
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryDr. Rammanohar Lohia Avadh UniversityFaizabadIndia
  2. 2.Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Central UniversitySrinagar (Garhwal)India
  3. 3.National Institute of ImmunologyNew DelhiIndia

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