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Groundwater for Sustainable Development
Volume 11, 2020, 100383

Characterisation and bioremediation of wastewater: A review exploring bioremediation as a sustainable technique for pharmaceutical wastewater

Ananya Shaha, Manan Shahb

Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.


The waste that Pharmaceutical industries produce has hazardous implications on the environment and public health if disposed without being treated. Pharmaceutical Industry wastewater (PIWW) is the product of the drug and formulation development process. And its safe disposal upon treatment is essential. There have been very few studies that reflect on nature of effluents from the Pharmaceutical industries. To select successful and efficacious process of treatment, it is critical to know the characteristics and components of the influent water. Hence, this review aims at comprehensively analysing the characteristics of the pharmaceutical wastewater to provide a better insight on the preferable choices of treatment. Several studies have been carried out on various treatment methods. This paper compares these methods, namely- Physicochemical, Advanced Oxidation and Bioremediation, in which bioremediation emerges as the most sustainable and economically viable option. Additionally, the scope of this paper extends to discuss the various types of bioremediation, their applications and drawbacks in context of industrial wastewater treatment aimed at decreasing the ecotoxicological effects of pharmaceutical wastewater.

Keywords: 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid; Electro-bioremediation; Polluted soil; Herbicide; Periodic polarity reversal.

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