Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) as promising technologies increasingly attract attention for the treatment of municipal wastewater, in particular, given their ability to recover biomethane. Nonetheless, their performance in trace organic contaminants (TrOCs) removal requires in-depth understanding. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the removal and fate of the frequently reported TrOCs in sewage treated by AnMBRs. Chemicals containing strong electron-donating functional groups in their molecular structures and highly hydrophobic compounds can be effectively removed by AnMBRs. Adsorption and the subsequent biodegradation have been identified as the dominant processes for TrOCs removal. In addition, the combination of membrane separation technologies and the bioreactor technology could greatly improve the removal of TrOCs under different wastewater sources or contents. The influence of operating conditions is critically analyzed to provide information for further development. Furthermore, the challenges and perspectives related to the operation of AnMBRs are elucidated to facilitate the widespread application of AnMBRs and enhance their capability for TrOCs removal.
- Anaerobic membrane bioreactor
- Trace organic contaminants