Trickling Filter

The performance of a trickling filter has been studied by many researchers [14,38,49,5153] and it was found that a high-rate trickling filter was capable of treating wastewater containing diversified fine chemicals and pharmaceutical intermediates to a level of effluent BOD less than 100 mg/L [51]. A similar conclusion was made in the performance study of a trickling filter for the treatment of wastewater from chemical and pharmaceutical units [53].

It has also been reported that wastewater from a pharmaceutical plant manufacturing antibiotics, vitamins, and sulfa drugs, can be treated by using a trickling filter [52]. One study evaluated the efficiency of a sand bed filter for the treatment of acidic waste streams from a synthetic organic pharmaceutical plant at Hyderabad. The acidic waste stream was neutralized to a pH of 7.0 and treated separately through a sand bed filter. The sand bed filter was efficient in treating the acidic waste stream to a level proposed for its discharge to municipal sewer [14].

The efficiency of the biological filter (trickling filter) for treatment of combined wastewater from a pharmaceutical and chemical company in North Cairo has been evaluated. The treatment system consisted of a biological filter followed by sedimentation. The degree of treatment was found quite variable. The COD and BOD removal efficiency of the trickling filter at an average OLR (organic loading rate) of 26.8 g BOD/m2 day were found to be 43-88% and

Figure 2 Flow sheet for treatment of synthetic drug waste.

58-87%, respectively. The study revealed that a biological filter alone was unable to produce effluents to a level complying with the national standards regulating wastewater disposal into the surface water [49].

Similar conclusions were made in the treatment of ACPCI effluent using a biofilter. The low performance efficiency and presence of dispersed biosolids in the effluent have made the trickling filter unsuitable for the treatment of this plant wastewater [38].

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