Opium is a traditional produce of Turkey planted and harvested under the control of the Government. This study was undertaken to characterize the wastewater from opium alkaloid processing. Thus, the laboratory records of the two stage aerobic biological treatment plant of the Opium Alkaloid factory were evaluated. Following the statistical analysis of the results for the last three years, it was found that the median values of influent COD and BOD5 concentrations were 29,300 mg/l and 15,000 mg/l respectively. Two stage aerobic biological treatment could reduce these values down to 1,132 mg/l and 100 mg/l. Specific wastewater generation was 6.7 m3 per ton of the opium capsule processed.

Experiments conducted at an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor type pilot plant have demonstrated that 70 percent of the incoming COD can be removed anaerobically, and can be considered as a cost effective substitute for the 1st stage of the aerobic treatment.

Post treatment of the effluents of the existing two stage aerobic treatment with ozone resulted in significant color removal and COD reduction.

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