Table 13 Characteristics of Alkaline and Condensate Wastes Generated from a Synthetic Drug Plant at Hyderabad [14

Alkaline waste Condensate waste


1025 1345 1204 155 490 257

2475 3420 2827 413 850 572

TS, total solids; BOD, biochemical oxygen demand; COD, chemical oxygen demand.

effluents BOD was less than 100 mg/L. The average TOC, COD, and BOD reductions were around 80, 80, and 99% respectively. The settleability of the activated sludge was found to be excellent with an SVI of 65-72 [15].

A similar study was conducted at Merck & Co. (Stonewall Plant, Elkton, Virginia) to assess the feasibility of the activated sludge process for treating wastewater generated from this plant. This plant is one of the six Merck Chemical Manufacturing Division facilities operated on a batch basis for fermentation and organic synthesis and has been in operation since 1941. A bench-scale study revealed that a food to microorganism (F/M) ratio from 0.15 to 0.25, MLVSS of 3500 mg/L, HRT 4 days, and minimum DO (dissolved oxygen) concentration of 3 mg/L was essential for meeting the proposed effluent limits and maintaining a viable and good settling sludge in the activated sludge process [46]. Based on these design criteria, a pilot plant and fullscale system were designed and studied. The old treatment plant consisted of an equalization basin, neutralization, primary sedimentation, roughing biofilter, activated sludge system, and rock trickling filter with final clarifiers. In the proposed study, the old activated sludge system, rock filter, and final clarifier were replaced with a new single-stage, nitrification-activated sludge system. A schematic diagram of the pilot plant is presented in Figure 1. The study demonstrated that BOD5 removal efficiencies of the pilot and bench-scale plant were 94 and 98%, respectively. The TKN and NH4-N removal were found to be 65 and 59%, respectively. It has also been observed that system operation was stable and efficient at F/M ratios ranging from 0.19 to 0.30, but prolonged operation at an F/M ratio less than 0.15 led to an episode of filamentous bulking.

The performance of the activated sludge process has been evaluated for the treatment of ACPCI (Alexandria Company for Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industry) effluent. These drug formulation and preparation-type plants are mainly involved in the production of a wide variety of pharmaceuticals, including analgesics, anthelmintics, antibiotics, cardiacs, chemotherapeutics, urologics, and vitamins. A study indicated that significant dispersed biosolids were found in the treated effluent when applying aeration for 6 hours. However, extending the aeration to 9-12 hours and maintaining the MLSS at levels higher than 2500 mg/L improved sludge

Merck Elkton Plant
Figure 1 Schematic of the pilot plant at Merck and Co. Stonewall Plant in Elkton, VA.

settling and produced effluent with low SS. The study concluded that the activated sludge process is capable of producing effluent with BOD and SS values within the limits of the Egyptian standards. However, sand filtration was needed for polishing the treated effluent [38].

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