Publication Details

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.


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.

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