Removal of organic micropollutants in anaerobic membrane bioreactors in wastewater treatment: critical review
The anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) is a promising technology for achieving an energy-saving or even energy-positive wastewater treatment process as it produces high effluent quality and renewable energy in the form of methane. Nevertheless, concerns on inflowing organic micropollutants (OMPs) caused by various human and industrial activities into the AnMBR system are proliferating. The extent to which the removal of OMPs in the AnMBR is understood should vary greatly depending upon the removal pathways mainly involved such as sorption into biomass, transformation, or membrane filtration. This review paper describes the fate and removal mechanisms of OMPs in an AnMBR system. Although the overall performance of AnMBR treating various wastewaters has been observed under such reduced conditions, understanding and modeling the removal mechanisms of OMPs in this type of reactor still requires much research. Elucidating the removal mechanisms of OMPs will lead to improvements in the design and operation of an AnMBR system while optimizing the performance and saving energy.