The increasing interest in anaerobic MBRs (AnMBRs) relates largely to resource recovery and the circular economy. Anaerobic treatment permits energy recovery through conversion of the organic carbon (OC) to a methane biogas, rather than the considerably more energy-intensive aerobic process which converts the OC to carbon dioxide.
Features - Alternative membrane technologies and applications
Although a number of studies have compared the MBR system performance with that of the conventional or classical activated sludge (CAS) process in treating municipal wastewater, none have attempted a simultaneous comparison of their environmental, techno-economic and social acceptance aspects.
Operational experience at La Center WWTP in Washington, USA indicates that the cost of MBR technology may be lower than that of a conventional biological treatment process, despite the higher energy demand. La Center is a small city in Clark County, Washington, USA, with a population of 3,100. The wastewater treatment works at the town was originally constructed in 1967
There has been a recent surge of interest in anaerobic MBRs. The technology provides the potential for removing COD with a net energy benefit from the methane generated, albeit without nutrient removal. Interest within academia is evidenced by the publication of five independent reviews of the subject in various learned journals in 2012 alone.