Anaerobic Stabilization and Recalcitrant Anti-Biotic Transformation Under Acclimated Inoculum-Substrate Matrix

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The formulation and implementation of regulatory standards for the ultimate disposal and reuse of transformed products of antibiotic drugs and solvents have been a pending issue in the waste management of pharmaceutical industries especially in the developing countries like India. A case study has been identified and the current issues in one of the major pharmaceutical industry (manufacturing cephalosporin drugs) located in Chennai, India, has been discussed for the possible implementation of anaerobically transformed intermediates of anti-biotic pharmaceutical waste sludge. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of bioaugmentation on the convertibility of anaerobically transformed intermediates of anti-biotic pharmaceutical waste sludge into residuals and biocompost. Cephalosporin is a common name refers to cephradine (C16H19N3O4S) and cephalexin (C16H17N3O4S.H2O) (British Pharmacopoeia, 1980). Based on the critical examination of results the industry is looking for the alternatives of either direct disposal of 7-amino-3-deacetoxycephalosporanic acid (7-ADCA) and Phenyl acetic acid or for further degradation and disposal, which will essentially require additional cost and maintenance. The present regulatory standard implemented in India does not envisage such disposal alternatives and hence this would invite suggestions and recommendations of the expertise for the possible implementation on the pending issue in the antibiotic based pharmaceutical industries. The presence of cephalosporin increases total strength (Chemical Oxygen Demand) of the effluent and indirectly increases the cost of the treatment. Hence the biotransformation of cephalosporin either alone or in combination with other energetic compounds, offers the potential for an economical and environmentally friendly disposal alternative for the anaerobically transformed intermediates of anti-biotic pharmaceutical waste sludge.

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