Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Chemical Science

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Short Communication - Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Chemical Science (2022) Volume 6, Issue 1

A short study on pharmaceuticals and their effects on membrane bioreactors.

Akram Sarkar*

Department of Pharmacy, Southern University, Bangladesh

*Corresponding Author:
Akram Sarkar
Department of Pharmacy,
Southern University Bangladesh
E-mail: [email protected]

Received: 01-Feb-2022, Manuscript No. AAPCCS-22-56595; Editor assigned: 02-Feb-2022, PreQC No. AAPCCS-22-56595(PQ); Reviewed: 16-Feb-2022, QC No. AAPCCS-22-56595; Revised: 21-Feb-2022, Manuscript No. AAPCCS-22-56595(R); Published: 28-Feb-2022, DOI:10.35841/aapccs-6.1.105

Citation: Sarkar A. A short study on pharmaceuticals and their effects on membrane bioreactors. J Pharm Chem Chem Sci. 2022;6(1): 105


Because of their toxicity to aquatic life and pseudo-persistent nature in the environment, pharmaceuticals have emerged as emergent pollutants of concern. One such device is the membrane bioreactor (MBR), which has the potential to operate as a barrier against medication discharge into the environment. Fouling refers to the deposit of mixed liquid elements on the membrane surface, which limits MBRs' global application. Aggressive chemicals and more energy costs are necessary to remove the foulant layer. The most common foulants are extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and soluble microbial products (SMP). The goal of this study is to provide an overview of the research on bioprocesses for pharmaceutical scientific treatment that has been reported.


Pharmaceuticals, EPS, SMP, MBR.


Pharmaceuticals have been discovered to promote MBR fouling. The amount of drugs in the environment causes fouling to worsen. Pharmaceuticals cause bacteria to produce more EPS/SMP as a result of chemical stress. Pharmaceuticals impact microbial metabolism and change the composition of foulants, causing direct and indirect fouling effects. Pharmaceuticals have been discovered to enhance or decrease the size of sludge flocs, although the exact mechanism governing this shift is unknown. Fouling in MBRs treating pharmaceutical wastewater has been reduced using a variety of approaches, including combining advanced oxidation processes with MBR, adding activated carbon, and bioaugmenting MBR with quorum quenching strains [1].

These fouling mitigation solutions work by lowering the concentration of EPS/SMP and thereby minimising fouling. The current study aims to give a full understanding of the effects of medicines on the properties of activated sludge as well as the fouling mechanism. Significant information gaps are also explored, as well as recent improvements in fouling reduction measures. The favourable element of the foulant layer in retaining medicines and antibiotic resistance genes has also been highlighted in this research, implying a possible sensitive trade-off between flux decline and increased pharmaceutical clearance [2].

Acetaminophen, clarithromycin, ibuprofen, carbamazepine, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, sulfamethoxazole, and tetracycline are some of the most regularly used antibiotics, according to a few studies. Pharmaceutical contaminants in water originate from a variety of sources, including urban and industrial wastewaters, agriculture, aquaculture, and soil pollution in animal husbandry for therapeutic or growth promoter purposes. Some of these molecules are metabolised after being taken by people or animals, whereas others are not metabolised and are eventually excreted [3].

The dangers of drugs' long-term toxicity are unknown, but they could have a significant impact on the evolution of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, as well as their fauna and flora. Pharmaceutical pollutants have been shown to alter the growth, reproduction, and behaviour of birds, fishes, invertebrates, plants, and microorganisms at low levels, according to ecotoxicity studies. Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) combine biodegradation with a separation stage in order to keep sludge (suspended solid) in the system and remove more drugs. These reactors can be made up of two parts: a bioreactor tank and a membrane module, but in most cases, these two parts are combined into one, with the membrane bundle of hollow fibres or a flat membrane assembly submerged inside the bioreactor [4]. The enzymatic reactor is connected to a filtration unit, and the membrane works as a barrier, keeping the biocatalysts inside the reactor throughout the process while transferring reaction products through it.

Pretreatments with activated sludge systems or traditional membrane bioreactors may be required, depending on the pollutants' composition. The biodegradable fraction of the pollution would be removed by these treatments, whereas refractory contaminants would be handled in membrane or beads-based bioreactors afterwards. Other sorts of refining treatments, such as advanced oxidation procedures or ozonation, can be replaced with the enzymatic bioreactor process. Enzymatic processes, on the other hand, are often more environmentally friendly than chemical processes since they do not use harsh chemicals and consume very little energy [5].


When compared to traditional AS systems, using enzymes instead of microorganisms for pollution removal from water offers various advantages. Enzymes, in reality, are biocatalysts that are unaffected by the biological activity of the molecules they target since they are a biochemical system rather than a biological one. Even though these reactors would be a suitable supplement to existing treatment facilities that do not include advanced oxidation units, only a few investigations have been published for pharmaceutical depletion in EMR. The proposed enzymatic method could result in more costeffective and environmentally friendly operations, as well as complete inactivation of the most dangerous persistent and developing pharmaceuticals pollutants.


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