Removal of Pharmaceuticals from Synthetic Wastewater by Ozone

  • Shahlaa E. Ebrahim College of Engineering / Baghdad University / Iraq
  • Stijn Van Hulle Gent University, Belgium
  • Ibtihal A. Sheikha College of Engineering / Baghdad University / Iraq
Keywords: O3, Advanced oxidation process, Pharmaceuticals wastewater, GC-MS, UV-VIS, Fluorescence, Excitation Emission Matrix


The removal of the pharmaceuticals from wastewater was investigated in the present study. The degradation of 17α-ethinylestradiol(ETH) (hormone), diclofenac (DIC)(antiinflammatory) and carbamazepine (CARB)(antiepileptic) by an advanced oxidation process (AOPs) based on ozone was studied at lab-scale in synthetic wastewater.
Pharmaceuticals have been detected at trace concentrations in the range of high ng/l or low µg/l in all influent and effluent real wastewater treatment plants which at this concentration pharmaceuticals can cause potentially adverse health effects.
The effects of operating conditions such as pH and O3 concentration, on the degradation process were studied. The maximum degradation of pharmaceuticals dissolved in demineralized water was achieved at high pH (12) and (9 mg/l) O3 concentration.
The effectiveness of O3 process for treating pharmaceuticals in synthetic wastewater showed that the maximum removal of all pharmaceuticals (CARB, DIC and ETH) respectively was approximately (75.54, 77.23 and 80.68) % at O3 concentration of 9 mg/l. A good correlations between pharmaceuticals removal and UV254 removal was obtained (R²=0.9519). Also fluorescence data could be well correlated to pharmaceuticals removal with (R²=0.9416).

How to Cite
Ebrahim, S., Hulle, S., & Sheikha, I. (2018). Removal of Pharmaceuticals from Synthetic Wastewater by Ozone. Association of Arab Universities Journal of Engineering Sciences, 25(4), 174-184. Retrieved from