EVALUATION OF AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC BIODEGRADABILITY AND TOXICITY ASSESSMENT OF REAL PHARMACEUTICAL WASTEWATER FROM INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION OF ANTIBIOTICS

R. B. P. Marcelino, L. N. Andrade, M. C. V. M. Starling, C. C. Amorim, M. L. T. Barbosa, R. P. Lopes, B. G. Reis, M. M. D. Leão
2016 Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering  
This study evaluates aerobic and anaerobic biodegradability and toxicity of a real pharmaceutical wastewater, which focuses on antibiotics production. Zahn-Wellens and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) methodologies were applied in order to verify the wastewater's biodegradability and Microtox® analysis was performed for toxicity tests. Tests achieved more than 89% and 63% of Total Organic Carbon reduction, showing 80% and 50% of antibiotic removal, for aerobic and
more » ... for aerobic and anaerobic processes, respectively. Moreover, acute ecotoxicological tests revealed that both techniques decreased the toxic character of real pharmaceutical wastewater. Desorption tests showed that the antibiotic was not degraded, but, in fact, adsorbed onto the sludge. Since biological treatment is the most widely used method for industrial wastewater treatment, this study indicates that this kind of treatment is probably unable to mineralize antibiotics present in pharmaceutical wastewaters, which may induce the development of resistant pathogens. Therefore, efforts must be taken to elucidate the main mechanisms of biological antibiotic removal from wastewaters since the presence of antibiotics in the environment is considered to be an emerging environmental issue.
doi:10.1590/0104-6632.20160333s20150136 fatcat:btaqf4jkmrhvhawuajnumpgbia