The production of pharmaceuticals has increased rapidly during the last several decades as they have been used for the health of both humans and animals. Routes of environmental exposure include the release of treated wastewater, the land disposal of livestock manures and municipal biosolids (i.e. sewage sludge), as well as the use of medicated aquaculture feed. This study deals with application of reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes for removing of antibiotic residues (sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin, dexamethasone and febantel) and their mixture. According to the results obtained in this work the use of RO (LFC–1 and XLE) and the tight NF (NF90) membranes are recommended to achieve a high level of retention (>95%) of all selected veterinary antibiotics (VAs). Nanofiltration NF270, NF and HL membranes showed a lower rejection of individual components, but much higher in a mixture solution, due to the synergistic effect.
Keywords: removal efficiency, RO/NF membranes, veterinary antibiotics, water treatment