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Wastewater management

Water management

Efficient cleaning of wastewater from pharmaceutical production

6. January 2021

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The need to remove pharmaceutical residues in wastewater will increase in the coming years. Pharmaceuticals are designed to be biologically active ingredients (API). A large amount of antibiotics, painkillers and hormones currently end up in the aquatic environment, simply because municipal treatment plants are not built to purify these substances. The Danish company, Aquarden has developed a Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO) technology, a system which completely destroys hazardous substances below required limits. The end product is pure water cleaned of hazardous pharmaceutical substances, which can be sent directly to receiving water bodies (lakes, rivers, sea), sent to the sewer or can be reused as process water in the production facility. The process is energy efficient as 90 per cent of the process heat is recycled and used as input for SCWO process as well as heating the production facilities. Furthermore, Aquarden’s SCWO technology offers a significant environmental bonus from a reduced CO₂ footprint and minimised combustion emissions with a 75 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

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