Pharma & Chemical

pharma water management
chemical water management

Decades of experience.​​

Wastewater treatment for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry

Water is a key raw material in pharma and chemical manufacturing processes. Consistent and high-quality water is required for production processes, and complex wastewater is generated once the pharmaceutical products and chemicals are produced. More and more producers are implementing strategies to minimize the water they draw from external sources, meaning that less wastewater is discharged and more wastewater is being reused as process water. In this way, water reuse provides savings through the reduction of both fresh water and waste disposal costs.

The chemical industry generates wastewater containing toxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic materials and difficult to biodegrade components. The same happens in the pharmaceutical industry, where in addition, the quality of process water is critical and has to meet the highest sterilization standards and protocols.

Pharma and chemical industry wastewater varies in flow and composition, depending on the production rate and the final product manufactured. This implies that the characteristics and peak loads of the wastewater are variable over time. Pharma and chemical wastewaters may contain:

Challenges for wastewater treatment in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry

Pharma and chemical industries all over the world face tremendous environmental regulatory challenges in treating their wastewater effluents. The main pollutants are organic chemicals, some of them toxic and difficult to biodegrade. Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are also known to have a detrimental impact on the environment, due to the fact that they are bio-refractory and persistent, tending to accumulate in the environment.

Wastewater treatment has been traditionally based on biological processes. However, there is an increased awareness of the limitations of conventional technologies for addressing the required removal of contaminants and the current discharge requirements. 

Benefits of tubular membrane solutions for digestate treatment​

Berghof’s MBR technology has come up as one of the best available technologies for handling the challenging streams from the pharma and chemical industries. The specific operational conditions – mainly linked to high MLSS in the bioreactor and high SRT– allow the growth of highly specialized biomass able to degrade the slowly biodegradable pollutants. Inhibition by toxic compounds is also avoided to a large extent.

Direct filtration also plays a significant role in water/wastewater management within the pharma&chemical industry. Tubular UF is applied as a direct filtration system for removing specific contaminants and also for brine recovery.  High-quality deionized water is required for producing chemicals and pharmaceuticals. As a result, significant volumes of brine are produced by the use of nanofiltration and reverse osmosis systems. Here, Berghof tubular UF is applied coupled with a chemical pretreatment for brine recovery in the scope of ZLD strategies.

Applications of tubular UF membrane technology in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry

MBR | Wastewater treatment

The external tubular MBR brings considerable benefits in the treatment of pharmaceutical and chemical effluents.
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Direct Filtration | Brine recovery

In order to meet stringent water reuse standards, pharma and chemical industries are looking for finding a cost-effective solution to treat the reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate and improving the overall RO system recovery.
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Please choose the application that applies to you.
Is your application not listed? Then please contact us.

Manufactured in Germany


Made in a state-of-the art LEAN-production facility, with highly-trained production personnel and materials of the highest quality.


With 50 years of experience and more than 2.000 projects worldwide, Berghof Membranes is the leading manufacturer of high quality tubular ultrafiltration membranes.  

Tubular UF Membrane Modules

To prevent fouling and clogging, Berghof Membranes developed its line of robust tubular UF (ultrafiltration) membrane modules based on inside-out crossflow filtration. 

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Membrane Skid systems

Berghof Membranes developed B-SMART®, a customizable external membrane filtration system that can be designed with various features and functionalities. 

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Pilot systems & Lab testing

Bridging the gap between lab-scale testing and manufacturing. Our team of experts gives you the confidence to apply the technology for your specific wastewater challenges.

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B-CARE® Service and Support

The B-CARE® program is an end-to-end comprehensive program developed to support our OEM partners from the piloting/engineering phase to operational system monitoring.

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Case Studies

Our projects

50 years of experience and more than 2.000 project references across the globe.


AnMBR | Dairy Industry

A dairy processor in Richland County, Wisconsin needed to find an efficient process to generate electricity and heat from their wastewater and to further treat anaerobic industrial wastewater.

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MBR | Food & Beverages

In order to meet the increasing demand, Holland Malt has decided to double its
malting capacity. For this the company needed high-quality permeate to reuse for production.

>> Read more

recovery of valuable material metal and mining

Direct UF | Titanium Recovery

Our OEM-Partner needed to design a robust and adaptable UF system that could keep up with the high-solid streams and conditions of this demanding process while minimizing OPEX and fouling. 

>> Read more

Think outside the box

When it comes to membrane filtration, think outside the box and contact Berghof Membranes today.

More than just a membrane supplier

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