BERKO iLAC UV De-chlorination for Pharmaceuticals
The PharmaLine DC PH 300 de-chlorination system works smoothly and without any problems. Since its startup, we haven’t had any performance problems with the UV unit. We only follow up maintenance procedure for the system which is just servicing the module every six monthsIrfan Mortaş
Technical Service Manager
at Berko Pharmaceuticals
COMPANY: Berko Pharmaceuticals
Ultraviolet (UV) treatment is a proven technology for de-chlorination. High intensity, broad-spectrum UV systems (medium-pressure UV) reduce free chlorine present as either hypochlorous acid (HOCl-) or hypochlorite ions (OCl-) into by-products whch are easily removed by the RO.
Berko Pharmaceuticals are developing products to contribute to human health with a “towards a healthier future” vision for more than 30 years. In June 2019 they installed a PharmaLine DC PH 0300 for de-chlorination.
The unit is used for continuous de-chlorination of a Pure Water Generator. The unit is sized for up to 12 m3/h with 2 log free chlorine reduction. Since then the system has been working smoothly 24/7.
Their de-chlorination process used to have a sodium meta bisulfite dosing system (MSBS) with an ORP control. The ORP based MSBS system is generally not very reliable because of three reasons; ORP systems can show fluctuations and measurement errors. The MSBS concentration and the reaction time for removal of free chlorine can be unstable. Moreover, because of MSBS dosing, the microbiological load can dramatically increase during medium to long term periods.
Other known problems with MSBS:
- Maintenance of dosing equipment;
- Handling and documentation of hazardous material;
- Scaling of RO membranes;
- Potential formation of sodium sulfate, which acts as a stimulant sulfate-reducing bacteria;
- Odour and taste implications.
Using UV instead of MSBS has none of the above drawbacks.
Short time goal
The short term and most critical objective of installing a de-chlorination system is lowering the microbiology load on the process and minimize direct and indirect down-time in production.
Long term goal
To increase water quality of the system in terms of chemical and microbiological parameters in order optimize the water treatment process.
The main challenge for Berko was to maintain a continuous flow in order to maximize de-chlorination reduction and prevent the smallest of stoppages, even for short period of time. Another challenge was the accuracy of free chlorine measuring equipment. It is very critical how you measure free chlorine measurement systems (ORP, Amperometric Free Chlorine Sensor etc.).
A PharmaLine DC PH 300 unit was installed for de-chlorination. The UV unit reduces free chlorine concentration from higher than 2 mg/ liter to less than 0.02 mg/liter. The UV system was installed before RO Feed with a re-circulation loop to pre-treat the water storage tank. Output of the system continuously measures free chlorine with a potentiometric free chlorine measurement system in order to avoid the presence of free chlorine in the water.
Test readings of free chlorine concentration at Berko Pharmaceuticals
The UV system performs to an excellent standard for de-chlorination performance as per the specifications provided by Hanovia. Furthermore, even if the chlorine level is thirty percent higher than 2 mg/ liter (which is the specified maximum concentration), the UV unit is still able to de-chlorinate the feed water. The microbiological results are also much better. Lastly, the RO system performance has got better since the UV installation. Not only did MSBS increase water conductivity, it also accumulates on the RO membranes which lowers the membranes performance.
The operational cost is very favourable when comparing the alternative chlorine removal systems since you only have to change the lamp every 6 months. Also, it reduces down-time for production which indirectly reduces production costs.
UV dechlorination provides distinct advantages over traditional technologies such as Activated Carbon Filtration or Sodium Metabisulphite dosing. These chlorine removal methods are prone to microbial contamination and require significantly more operator involvement and plant room space than UV leading to higher lifetime costs.