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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 3, Number 1, January 2012 , pages 1-23

Developments and future potentials of anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs)
Chettiyappan Visvanathan and Amila Abeynayaka

    The coupling of anaerobic biological process and membrane separation could provide excellent suspended solids removal and better biomass retention for wastewater treatment. This coupling improves the biological treatment process while allowing for the recovery of energy through biogas. This review gives a basic description of the anaerobic wastewater treatment process, summarizes the state of the art of anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs), and describes the current research trends and needs for the development of AnMBRs. The research interest on AnMBR has grown over the conventional anaerobic processes such as upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB). Studies on AnMBRs have developed different reactor configurations to enhance performances. The AnMBR performances have achieved comparable status to other high rate anaerobic reactors. AnMBR is highly suitable for application with thermophilic anaerobic process to enhance performances. Studies indicate that the applications of AnMBR are not only limited to the high strength industrial wastewater treatment, but also for the municipal wastewater treatment. In recent years, there is a significant progress in the membrane fouling studies, which is a major concern in AnMBR application.
Key Words
    anaerobic membrane bioreactor; wastewater treatment; research development; membrane fouling; high rate; thermophilic process
Environmental Engineering and Management Program, School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

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