Complete pharmaceutical residue removal

Fresenius Kabi uses ozone to completely remove pharmaceutical residue from their process wastewater

Fresenius Kabi is a global healthcare company with about 40,000 employees worldwide that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition.

In Sweden the company employees 1,000 workers located in Uppsala and Brunna. In Uppsala the production focuses on the intravenous nutritional solutions and in Brunna the focus is egg phospholipids.


  • Name:

    Fresenius Kabi AB

  • Location:

    Uppsala, Sweden

  • Industry:

    Pharmaceutical production

  • Application:

    Industrial wastewater treatment

  • Capacity:

    30 m3/h with 10 ppm API

  • Purpose:

    Removal of propofol

  • Performance:

    Complete removal of 10 ppm propofol


  • 3 x Ozonetech RENA Vivo C-series

  • Dimensions (HxWxD):

    2,625 x 1,240 x 1,600 mm

  • Input power:

    5.5 kW

  • Noise level:

    49 dB

Mellifiq ozone treatment system

3 Ozonetech RENA Vivo C-series, a solution designed by Mellifiq. The systems ozonates the process wastewater to effectively remove propofol.


The problem

The active pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) propofol was present at concentrations above the allowed limits in the wastewater from the production site in Uppsala. Propofol is one of the pharmaceuticals that is extensively used for induction and maintenance of anesthesia. The compound is a very stable molecule, highly persistent and there are difficulties breaking the compound down in the biological process in municipal wastewater treatment plants. This meant that Fresenius Kabi had to look for a new wastewater treatment method that efficiently removes propofol, due to local effluent requirements.

Molecular structure of propofol.

The solution

Fresenius Kabi turned to Mellifiq for an evaluation of the degradation of propofol using ozone. This resulted in a pilot scale project performed by Mellifiq at Mellifiq’s facilities. The study showed 100 % removal of propofol and resulted in a full-scale offer based on the findings and assessment done in the pilot scale project. The solution was a combination of Ultra Filtration (UF) and multiple turnkey Ozonetech RENA Vivo C-series ozone systems. The Mellifiq consulting team designed the solution to integrate the treatment equipment into the existing available space and pipe works.


Once again ozone has shown to be an effective method for removal of pharmaceutical residues and the propofol levels are now reduced and are below the requirements. The system was installed and successfully commissioned on site by our engineers. The performance of the system is continuously monitored through an integrated ORP control system. The solution effectively removes more than 10 ppm propofol to zero levels. The wastewater is then safely discharged to the municipal wastewater treatment plant Kungsängsverket in Uppsala.