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Perspectives on anaerobic membrane bioreactor treatment of domestic wastewater: A critical review

Smith, Adam L., Stadler, Lauren B., Love, Nancy G., Skerlos, Steven J., Raskin, Lutgarde
Bioresource technology 2012 v.122 pp. 149-159
anaerobic digesters, economic analysis, effluents, energy, energy recovery, environmental impact, fouling, methane, temperature, wastewater, wastewater treatment, water management
Interest in increasing the sustainability of water management is leading to a reevaluation of domestic wastewater (DWW) treatment practices. A central goal is to reduce energy demands and environmental impacts while recovering resources. Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) have the ability to produce a similar quality effluent to aerobic treatment, while generating useful energy and producing substantially less residuals. This review focuses on operational considerations that require further research to allow implementation of AnMBR DWW treatment. Specific topics include membrane fouling, the lower limits of hydraulic retention time and temperature allowing for adequate treatment, complications with methane recovery, and nutrient removal options. Based on the current literature, future research efforts should focus on increasing the likelihood of net energy recovery through advancements in fouling control and development of efficient methods for dissolved methane recovery. Furthermore, assessing the sustainability of AnMBR treatment requires establishment of a quantitative environmental and economic evaluation framework.