Biological Plant (MBBR & MBR) for the treatment of wastewater


Our client manufactures tablets, capsules, powders, sprays and plastic containers in accordance with the highest international Good Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Practice. Its wastewater composition changes according to the production scheduled.

The wastewater stream was being disposed of in a nearby river. In addition, only a small footprint was available, odours had to be contained, the possible contamination from antibiotics had to be considered and the treated stream had to be compliant with local regulations.

The Solution

In 2011, the company issued a public tender to design, manufacture and supervise the installation, start-up, commissioning and service of a plant that could treat 204 m3/d of wastewater. The wastewater stream coming from the production unit has a flowrate of 160 m3/d with peaks of 15 m3/h, a design COD of 700 mg/L and a design BOD of 500 mg/L.

The plant proposed by Chematek aimed to reduce COD to < 90 mg/L and BOD to < 40 mg/L. It included the following technologies:

  • Pre-treatment with initial storage and pressurization, fine sieving and equalisation.
  • Biological treatment with a first pass using MBBR technology and a second pass using an MBR technology
  • Sludge treatment with thickening and dehydration.

The plant was modular and containerised, thus allowing a fast installation, and it had a high level of automation to guarantee high reliability and safety. The proposal also included a three-year contract for providing technical assistance and training the personnel.

The contract was awarded to Chematek in November 2012 and the plant was delivered six months later, becoming the first of its kind in the area


The Biological Plant delivers the required water quality and avoids the disposal of contaminated wastewater into the river.