In this study a process for biological treatment of toxic wastewater from a pharmaceutical company was developed. By simulations on a laboratory scale, the contribution of organic material and toxicity in wastewater from different sources was determined and the degradability of specific compounds were studied. The information obtained from these tests was used to improve the treatability of the wastewater at the sources. As an example a persistent organic phosphorous compound could be degraded after pre-treatment with chemical hydrolysis. By further simulations on a laboratory scale it was possible to screen through a large number of process configurations to determine the best working biological treatment. A combination of fungal and bacterial treatment was found to remove toxicity from the wastewater more than a conventional bacterial treatment. The results from the laboratory studies were confirmed in pilot tests. A full scale treatment plant, which design is based on the results from these studies are presently under construction.

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