An effective, economical and environmentally friendly solution from Veolia Water Technologies

Numerous pollutants such as pharmaceuticals and other drug residues are continuously released into wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) due to (1) human consumption (in hospital and in households), (2) manufacturing (e.g., pharmaceuticals industry) and (3) veterinary and agricultural use (e.g., of antibiotics and pesticides/herbicides). Due their complex chemical formula and limitation of conventional WWTP, when discharged into receiving water bodies, can possibly cause acute and chronic toxic effects on aquatic organisms even at very low concentrations.


eXenoTM is the Veolia Water Technologies solution for an effective and economic friendly biological removal of drug residues in wastewater. exenoTM is based on AnoxKaldnesTM MBBR (Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor) and relies on microorganisms growing as biofilm on plastic carriers. By using multiple reactors in series, MBBR technology will select for specific microorganisms specialized in removing difficult biodegradable compounds like pharmaceuticals. eXenoTM can be designed for complete treatment of wastewater (for example from pharmaceuticals industry where multiple MBBR in series are used to remove pharmaceuticals) and post-treatment of municipal WWTP after existing activated sludge plant. In this case, three reactors are used in cyclic mode and a short retention time is sufficient to remove residual drugs in wastewater. As an innovative biological solution, eXenoTM is:

  • Effective: resulting in high removal of hardly degradable pharmaceuticals (e.g. diclofenac)
  • Economical advantageous: using more bacteria and less ozone and/or activated carbon, the cost of energy and chemical usage is reduced
  • Environmental friendly, avoiding the release of by-products typical of advanced treatment



Astrazeneca, Sweden

A tailor-made MBBR process in six stages for treatment of wastewater from production to the quality required for discharge to the lake serving as drinking water resource for greater Stockholm. The plant was designed for removal of TOC, N and P (capacity 1,800 m3/d, TOC 440 kg/d).

JCS Grindes, Latvia

A five stage MBBR process for degradation of hardly degradable organic compounds from pharmaceutical production, including phenols and high concentrations of organically bound nitrogen compounds. Plant capacity 500 m3/d.

Mermiss, Denmark

A development project partly funded by Danish EPA with focus on MBBR for removal of pharmaceuticals primarily from hospital wastewater. Project partners from universities, institutes, water companies.

Mereff, Denmark

A follow up development project on findings in Mermiss with focus on post-treatment with MBBR of effluents from conventional activated sludge system (project partly funded by Danish EPA). The process utilizes a rotation principle providing unique treatment results.

Process patented.