How many of these pharmaceutical wastewater issues are you addressing?

Integrated processes

‘End of pipe’ filtering is out. The new trend is to look at making water treatment an integrated part of process design. Since water recycling is currently less efficient for highly contaminated waste streams and those containing a diverse range of chemical properties, we believe the solution is to separate wastewater streams early in the process and destroy harmful pollutants near the source. Water that easy lends itself to recycling is separated from that which is less suitable. This would help ensure minimum effort and expense are required to deploy additional techniques in the process.

Water scarcity

Water is a precious resource. Only 3% of the Earth’s water is freshwater and more importantly less than 0.3% is available for use, with this use being split between the conflicting needs of public water supply and industry. Both for cost and environmental reasons, there is advantage in reducing water movement and contamination. The goal is often to maintain supply at the required quality level while controlling costs of transport, treatment and disposal. Regions with plentiful water supplies continue to use water in various processes and discharge it after use, but in regions suffering water scarcity every drop is valuable. How do you manage your water resources?


Alongside water scarcity, the viability of recycling both water and other materials is also a trending topic. We think cost and energy efficiency can be increased considerably by closing industrial water cycles as far as possible and identifying innovative materials for use. This subject is integral to our aims at Arvia. Arvia Technology is at the forefront of the sustainability revolution with our patented adsorbent material Nyex. Nyex is an adsorbent 3D electrode material used to separate contaminants from water so they can be eliminated with a low voltage electrical current. The Nyex is also cleaned in the process meaning it can be re-used continuously.

Changing parameters

The composition of process water is changing over time, especially in an area of high innovation such as pharmaceuticals. The Arvia process is flexible enough to treat a wide range of effluents and its modular construction makes it ideal for a changing landscape.

Environmental impact

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in pharmaceutical wastes can have harmful effects on human health and aquatic life. Endocrine disrupters from medicines have been detected in drinking water and surface water, adversely affecting water quality. ‘Environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants’ (EPPP) is a new emerging policy under consideration for the SAICM in 2015 Are you feeling the pressure from the media as more stories come to light every day revealing the presence of dangerous pollutants in our rivers and lakes?

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How much do you spend on wastewater treatment and transport of wastewater? An internal review showed that Arvia Technology offers significant capital and operational expenditure savings in comparison with major treatment technologies for pharmaceutical organic wastes. A case study for a system that treats 10m3/day of pharmaceutical organic wastes of concentrations of 150 – 200 ppm shows that Arvia can achieve efficient treatment at a substantially lower OPEX per m3. Arvia Technology becomes the most cost effective (combined CAPEX and OPEX) after 4 months of operation, compared to reverse osmosis, activated carbon, advanced oxidation processes or trucking off site.

As the first water treatment process capable of destroying recalcitrant, stable organics and trace level pollutants without the use of chemicals, Arvia Technology can perform an important role in removing persistent micro-pollutants and emerging contaminants from those difficult waste streams. In an efficient water management system treated water can feed into the next process, but only once a reliable technology such as Arvia is in place to ensure it meets specific quality standards.

Come to Arvia’s presentation, ‘Pharma Wastewater Solutions: the next era of trace level organics removal’ on Wednesday 8th July to find out more about novel solutions to wastewater treatment.

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