Catalytic wet oxidation of high concentration pharmaceutical wastewater with Fe3+ as catalyst was carried out in a batch reactor. Results showed that the degradation of pharmaceutical wastewater was enhanced significantly by Fe3+. The effects of reaction parameters, such as the catalyst dose, reaction temperature, time, and initial oxygen pressure, were discussed. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal increased with the increases of catalyst dose, temperature, time and oxygen supply. With the initial COD 34,000–35,000 mg/L, approximately 70% COD removal can be achieved under the conditions of catalyst 1.0 g and oxygen pressure 1.0 MPa at 250 °C after 60 min. The results of kinetic studies showed that two reaction steps existed in this oxidation process, which followed an apparent first-order rate law. This process provides an effective approach for the pretreatment of high concentration pharmaceutical wastewater.

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