A review on anaerobic membrane bioreactors for enhanced valorization of urban organic wastes: Achievements, limitations, energy balance and future perspectives

Yisong Hu, Xuli Cai, Runda Du, Yuan Yang, Chao Rong, Yu Qin, Yu You Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sustainable urban development is threatened by an impending energy crisis and large amounts of organic wastes generated from the municipal sector among others. Conventional waste management methods involve greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and limited resource recovery, thus necessitating advanced techniques to convert such wastes into bioenergy, bio-fertilizers and valuable-added products. Research and application experiences from different scale applications indicate that the anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) process is a kind of high-rate anaerobic digester for urban organic wastes valorization including food waste and waste sludge, while the research status is still insufficiently summarized. Through compiling recent achievements and literature, this review will focus on the following aspects, including AnMBR treatment performance and membrane fouling, technical limitations, energy balance and techno-economic assessment as well as future perspectives. AnMBR can enhance organic wastes treatment via complete retention of functional microbes and suspended solids, and timely separation of products and potential inhibitory substances, thus improving digestion efficiency in terms of increased organics degradation rates, biogas production and process robustness at a low footprint. When handling high-solid organic wastes, membrane fouling and mass transfer issues can be the challenges limiting AnMBR applications to a wet-type digestion, thus countermeasures are required to pursue extended implementations. A conceptual framework is proposed by taking various organic wastes disposal and final productions (permeate, biogas and biosolids) utilization into consideration, which will contribute to the development of AnMBR-based waste-to-resource facilities towards sustainable waste management and more economic-environmental benefits output.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153284
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume820
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 10

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Anaerobic membrane bioreactor
  • Inhibition substance
  • Membrane fouling
  • Renewable bioenergy
  • Urban organic wastes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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