Contaminant Removal

Pharmaceutical water treatment 

From feedwater, through internal treatment to generate pharmaceutical grade water, to final discharge, water is critical to pharmaceutical manufacturing. Water treatment at each phase of manufacture must accomplish two goals: purity and sustainability. Contamination is potentially life threatening, so preventing water contamination is essential for product safety. Treatments must meet the standards of the relevant pharmacopeias for the intended use of the water, with different pharmaceutical grades requiring different treatments from purified water (PW) to highly purified water (HPW) to the highest purity of water for injection (WFI). Pharmaceutical manufacturers are also taking a proactive approach to sustainability, as both water scarcity and mitigation of environmental impacts encourage water efficiency through internal recycle and advanced treatment for final discharges.

While noting that treatment requirements vary depending upon the relevant pharmacopoeia, most treatment trains to generate purified water or WFI involve membranes (UF and/or RO), deionization, and/or distillation, and disinfection. However, treatments like thermal disinfection and distillation consume a lot of energy. Therefore, improving water efficiencies to reduce the quantity requiring treatment also improves energy efficiency. Internal reuse as wash water also reduces discharge volumes and wastewater treatment costs.

Because disinfection is so critical, multiple methods, including thermal, UV and ozonation, are typically employed at multiple points throughout the treatment process. These disinfection processes do not create chemical by-products, though use of ozone also requires equipment to destroy the ozone. UV is becoming the preferred process, but it only sanitizes at the point of application and does not address microbial biofilms that may accumulate in piping. To kill these biofilms, a residual type of disinfectant, typically ozone, must be periodically run through the treatment system.

Ozone, coupled with peroxide, and/or UV, is extremely effective in oxidizing microbial biofilms and bacteria. Xylem’s Wedeco brand is a trusted leader in proven sanitizing processes, providing both UV and advanced oxidation units involving ozone and peroxide. Wedeco UV systems lead the industry in energy efficiency, and the MiPRO series of advanced oxidation (ozone, peroxide and UV) units use a multipronged approach to provide the highest level of sanitation available.

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Reliable and environmentally-friendly water and wastewater treatment technologies.