Your web browser is out of date.

Update your browser for better security, speed and to get the best experience on this website.

Update your browser

Selected papers on anaerobic MBRs

Posted on
Shutterstock 74153143

Selected papers on anaerobic MBRs

Our list is presented in reverse chronological order without preference. It was compiled by Simon Judd in April 2020 and may be updated in future as new papers are published.

Below is a selection of abstracts from ten recent papers published in peer-reviewed journals relating to anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs).

Such is the wealth of publications in this area, the papers are all review articles, dating back to the start of 2018. Six of these articles were published in the same journal ('Bioresource Technology'). The topics vary from key applications (such as landfill leachate, non-potable reuse, hydrogen production and biorefinery biowaste) to general or specific process aspects (process modelling, energy demand and process configurations). It appears that the anaerobic MBR research community is very well served.

Selected research papers:

Abstract

Most of the municipal solid wastes (MSW) produced daily in the world are being buried in landfilling sites without any prior treatment particularly in developing countries. These landfills yield leachate which is a highly contaminated wastewater. Thus, a proper treatment of leachate is highly recommended before the final discharge. Recently, the use of membrane separation technology alongside bioreactors have opened a new gateway in treating refractory wastewater such as landfill leachate. Anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) is a promising technique for leachate treatment due its substantial benefits over other conventional anaerobic and aerobic technologies. Thus, this study provides a comprehensive review and assessment on the potential practice of AnMBR in treating landfill leachate and its technological advancements in the recent past. A critical review on the performance of a lab-scale AnMBR on landfill leachate with the biogas production is also included in the current work. Moreover, this study inspects various factors affecting the performance of AnMBR along with its limitations and future perspectives. The simultaneous treatment of landfill leachate anaerobically to produce bioenergy complies with the principles of circular economy and sustainable growth.

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Full Reference

Abuabdou, S. M. A., Ahmad, W., Aun, N. C., & Bashir, M. J. K. (2020). A review of anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBR) for the treatment of highly contaminated landfill leachate and biogas production: Effectiveness, limitations and future perspectives. Journal of Cleaner Production, 255, 120215.

Abstract

Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) have received significant attention in the field of wastewater treatment due to their lower energy demand than traditional aerobic MBRs. AnMBRs have been successfully adopted for nonpotable reuse applications. However, water-quality challenges (∼4-170 mg/L chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the permeate, literature value), membrane fouling, energy consumption (0.1-2.6 kWh/m3, literature value), and methane recovery from the permeate are challenges that still need to be overcome if AnMBRs are to be recognized as a sustainable wastewater reuse technology. This paper reviews state-of-the-art conventional AnMBRs, decentralized AnMBRs, and hybrid AnMBRs in the context of treating different types of wastewater for nonpotable water reuse and energy recovery. Comparisons of permeate quality and energy consumptions in different hybrid AnMBRs are performed, and the challenges of AnMBRs for nonpotable water reuse are discussed.

© 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers

Full Reference

Wu, B., & Kim, J. (2020). Anaerobic membrane bioreactors for nonpotable water reuse and energy recovery. Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States), 146(2), 0001637.

Abstract

Anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) holds great promise to treat a broad range of waste streams for concurrent pollutants transformation and biofuels harvest while producing less digestate residuals. In this review, recent research advances, new discoveries and commercial application status of AnMBR technique were summarized and reported. A comprehensive comparison analysis designed herein demonstrated its fascinating superiorities over the conventional activated sludge-based processes with regards to good permeate quality, less digestate residuals, low operational costs, net profit/energy output, and outstanding economic and environmental benefits. Despite the great progress achieved previously, there are still numerous challenges head for AnMBR platform applications to be tackled, particularly for severe membrane fouling, low methane content in biogas, highly dissolved methane, poor ammonia removal and phosphorus recovery, etc.

'To address the above problems, a new-generation process, i.e. so-called “Integrated Multistage Bio-Process (IMBP)” constituted of solar-driven bioelectrochemical system (BES)-AnMBR, partial nitritation/anammox (PN/A), nitrate reduction via anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and biological/chemical phosphorus precipitation units, was proposed in this article, with versatile capabilities in simultaneous biowastes valorization, CO2 electromethanogenesis and simultaneous biogas upgrading, in-situ fouling control, ammonia removal, dissolved methane reutilization, and phosphorus recover as hydroxyapatite-rich nutrients. Despite the uncertainties about whether this approach possesses the powerful potential to dominate the future, but most surely, this hybrid concept will enhance the deployment and industrial competitiveness of AnMBR-based technologies in real-world scenarios, facilitating the establishment of the energy-sustainable and low-carbon society. Of course, more efforts are still required to demonstrate the feasibility of this integrated biorefinery approach. Nonetheless, this review opens up new research opportunities to integrate with other newly emerging processes to develop robust, multifunctional and sustainable AnMBR-based technologies towards biowaste biorefinery, chemical energy harvest and green, carbon-neutral society.

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Full Reference

Zhen, G., Pan, Y., Lu, X., Li, Y. -., Zhang, Z., Niu, C., . . . Xu, K. (2019). Anaerobic membrane bioreactor towards biowaste biorefinery and chemical energy harvest: Recent progress, membrane fouling and future perspectives. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 115, 109392.

Abstract

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.

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Full Reference

Maaz, M., Yasin, M., Aslam, M., Kumar, G., Atabani, A. E., Idrees, M., . . . Kim, J. (2019). Anaerobic membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment: Novel configurations, fouling control and energy considerations. Bioresource Technology, 283, 358-372.

Abstract

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an attractive and sustainable alternative for stabilizing solid organic waste and producing biogas or biomethane. However, it is carried out by slow-growing bacteria and archaea and it normally demands a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 20–60 days in the bioreactor. Although high-rate AD methods and technologies have been developed, they are normally applied to liquid wastes such as wastewater. In this work, the theory and latest developments in high-rate digestion of organic solid wastes are reviewed. The process is accomplished by running the AD in a two-stage operation. The first stage involves dissolving the solid materials in water, using robust hydrolytic bacteria. The effluent is then filtered to remove any undigested material, which in some cases contains inhibitory compounds. The filtrate is then fed to bioreactors containing high cell density ADs such as flocculating bacteria (granules) or membrane bioreactors (MBR) to protect the sensitive and very slow-growing methanogen. Different approaches to overcoming problems faced in the first stage of digestion are proposed in this review. These problems include slow digestion of lignocellulosic biomass or failure of digestion due to inhibition problems for feedstocks containing toxic compounds, and rapid acidification for easily degradable substrates. The principle, technology, benefits and drawbacks, and factors affecting the efficacy of each type of high cell-density reactor are presented.

© 2019 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Full Reference

Wikandari, R., & Taherzadeh, M. J. (2019). Rapid anaerobic digestion of organic solid residuals for biogas production using flocculating bacteria and membrane bioreactors – a critical review. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 13(4), 1119-1132.

Abstract

This review examines the potential of anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) to serve as the core technology for simultaneous recovery of clean water, energy, and nutrient from wastewater. The potential is significant as AnMBR treatment can remove a board range of trace organic contaminants relevant to water reuse, convert organics in wastewater to biogas for subsequent energy production, and liberate nutrients to soluble forms (e.g. ammonia and phosphorus) for subsequent recovery for fertilizer production. Yet, there remain several significant challenges to the further development of AnMBR. These challenges evolve around the dilute nature of municipal wastewater, which entails the need for pre-concentrating wastewater prior to AnMBR, and hence, issues related to salinity build-up, accumulation of substances, membrane fouling, and membrane stability. Strategies to address these challenges are proposed and discussed. A road map for further research is also provided to guide future AnMBR development toward resource recovery.

© 2018

Full Reference

Song, X., Luo, W., Hai, F. I., Price, W. E., Guo, W., Ngo, H. H., & Nghiem, L. D. (2018). Resource recovery from wastewater by anaerobic membrane bioreactors: Opportunities and challenges. Bioresource Technology, 270, 669-677.

Abstract

The use of anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology (AnMBR) is rapidly expanding. However, depending on the application, AnMBR design and operation is not fully mature, and needs further research to optimize process efficiency and enhance applicability. This paper reviews state-of-the-art of AnMBR focusing on modelling and control aspects. Quantitative environmental and economic evaluation has demonstrated substantial advantages in application of AnMBR to domestic wastewater treatment, but detailed modelling is less mature. While anaerobic process modelling is generally mature, more work is needed on integrated models which include coupling between membrane performance (including fouling) and the biological process. This should include microbial factors, which are important to generation of specific foulants such as soluble and particulate inert organics. Mature and well-established control tools, including better feedback control strategies are also required for both the process, and for fouling control.

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Full Reference

Robles, Á., Ruano, M. V., Charfi, A., Lesage, G., Heran, M., Harmand, J., . . . Ferrer, J. (2018). A review on anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) focused on modelling and control aspects. Bioresource Technology, 270, 612-626.

Abstract

Biohydrogen as one of the most appealing energy vector for the future represents attractive avenue in alternative energy research. Recently, variety of biohydrogen production pathways has been suggested to improve the key features of the process. Nevertheless, researches are still needed to overcome remaining barriers to practical applications such as low yields and production rates. Considering practicality aspects, this review emphasized on anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) for biological hydrogen production. Recent advances and emerging issues associated with biohydrogen generation in AnMBR technology are critically discussed. Several techniques are highlighted that are aimed at overcoming these barriers. Moreover, environmental and economical potentials along with future research perspectives are addressed to drive biohydrogen technology towards practicality and economical-feasibility.

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Full Reference

Aslam, M., Ahmad, R., Yasin, M., Khan, A. L., Shahid, M. K., Hossain, S., . . . Kumar, G. (2018). Anaerobic membrane bioreactors for biohydrogen production: Recent developments, challenges and perspectives. Bioresource Technology, 269, 452-464.

Abstract

Antibiotic wastewater has become a major concern due to the toxicity and recalcitrance of antibiotics. Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) are considered alternative technology for treating antibiotic wastewater because of their advantages over the conventional anaerobic processes and aerobic MBRs. However, membrane fouling remains the most challenging issue in the AnMBRs’ operation and this limits their application. This review critically discusses: (i) antibiotics removal and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in different types of AnMBRs and the impact of antibiotics on membrane fouling and (ii) the integrated AnMBRs systems for fouling control and removal of antibiotics. The presence of antibiotics in AnMBRs could aggravate membrane fouling by influencing fouling-related factors (i.e., sludge particle size, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), soluble microbial products (SMP), and fouling-related microbial communities). Conclusively, integrated AnMBR systems can be a practical technology for antibiotic wastewater treatment.

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Full Reference

Cheng, D., Ngo, H. H., Guo, W., Liu, Y., Chang, S. W., Nguyen, D. D., . . . Ni, B. (2018). Anaerobic membrane bioreactors for antibiotic wastewater treatment: Performance and membrane fouling issues. Bioresource Technology, 267, 714-724.

Abstract

This review surveys the implementation of anaerobic membrane bioreactors in municipal wastewater treatment at ambient temperature. High chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiencies and methane conversion rates were achieved under various conditions, while also achieving a low sludge yield of 0.04–0.09 g volatile suspended solids (VSS)/g COD. A survey of energy demands for pilot-scale anaerobic membrane bioreactors showed that they could be energy neutral or even positive, even though high energy (0.08–0.35 kWh/m3) is required to clear membrane fouling. Thus, the use of anaerobic membrane bioreactors in municipal wastewater treatment at ambient temperature is very promising. However, some challenges such as membrane fouling control, methane in effluent, low COD/SO4 2−-S ratio, and deficiencies in alkalinity should be addressed, especially the latter. Future research perspectives relating to the challenges and further research are proposed.

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Full Reference

Lei, Z., Yang, S., Li, Y. -., Wen, W., Wang, X. C., & Chen, R. (2018). Application of anaerobic membrane bioreactors to municipal wastewater treatment at ambient temperature: A review of achievements, challenges, and perspectives. Bioresource Technology, 267, 756-768.

Simon Judd

Professor Simon Judd has over 30 years’ post-doctorate experience in all aspects of water and wastewater treatment technology, both in academic and industrial R&D. He has (co-)authored six book titles and over 200 peer-reviewed publications in water and wastewater treatment.

In his capacity as director of Judd Water & Wastewater Consultants, Simon is co-owner of The MBR Site.com, as well as of our sister website SludgeProcessing.com. He is Professor in Membrane Technology at the Cranfield Water Science Institute at Cranfield University in the UK where he has been a staff member since 1992. Simon was also a Research Chair at Qatar University in the Middle East for six years until September 2018.

About this page

'Anaerobic MBR reviews − ten research papers' was written by Simon Judd

This page was last updated on 27 May 2021

Disclaimer

Information on this page may have been supplied by third parties. You are reminded to contact any third parties to confirm information is accurate, up to date and complete before acting upon it. TheMBRSite.com accepts no liability for information provided by third parties, actions taken on the basis of this information or information held on third-party websites.