Anaerobic membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment: Novel configurations, fouling control and energy considerations

Muhammad Maaz, Muhammad Yasin, Muhammad Aslam, Gopalakrishnan Kumar, A. E. Atabani, Mubbsher Idrees, Fatima Anjum, Farrukh Jamil, Rizwan Ahmad, Asim Laeeq Khan, Geoffroy Lesage, Marc Heran, Jeonghwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Water shortage, public health and environmental protection are key motives to treat wastewater. The widespread adoption of wastewater as a resource depends upon development of an energy-efficient technology. Anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) technology has gained increasing popularity due to their ability to offset the disadvantages of conventional treatment technologies. However there are several hurdles, yet to climb over, for wider spread and scale-up of the technology. This paper reviews fundamental aspects of anaerobic digestion of wastewater, and identifies the challenges and opportunities to the further development of AnMBRs. Membrane fouling and its implications are discussed, and strategies to control membrane fouling are proposed. Novel AnMBR configurations are discussed as an integrated approach to overcome technology limitations. Energy demand and recovery in AnMBRs is analyzed. Finally key issues that require urgent attention to facilitate global penetration of AnMBR technology are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-372
Number of pages15
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation ( NRF ) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT ( 2017R1A2B4007804 ). This work was also supported in part by a grant from The Unit of Scientific Research Project Coordination (Bilimsel Araştırma Projeleri Koordinatörlüğü, BAP) of Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey under the University Project: FOA-2018-8183 (Priority Research Project) (Öncelikli Araştırma Proje). This research was also supported by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan for grant of Project # 3514 under NRPU program.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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