Wastewater Treatment by using Membrane Bioreactor (MBR): State of the Technology and the Industrial Challenges

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Tehran, Kish International Campus, Kish, Iran

2 Department of Cell and Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 Department of Engineering, University of Science and Culture, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of environmental engineering, University of Tehran, Kish international campus, Iran

6 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

7 Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management, California State University, Northridge, CA, USA


The treatment of water and wastewater is significantly enhanced by membrane technology, particularly when combined with biological systems in Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs). These integrated systems offer enhanced functionality, including the effective removal of refractory organics and recalcitrant compounds. MBRs have emerged as a promising solution for large-scale water and wastewater treatment, offering efficient performance and a reduced footprint compared to conventional systems. However, economic constraints pose significant challenges to widespread MBR implementation. This paper comprehensively examines the practical challenges associated with MBR technology, delving into various MBR types and their applications. It conducts a detailed analysis of MBR strengths and weaknesses, supported by relevant studies and data. Additionally, the economic feasibility of MBR systems is disused, considering factors such as energy consumption, membrane fouling, and maintenance costs. Furthermore, this paper reviews the utilization of membrane systems in diverse wastewater treatment scenarios, encompassing municipal, pharmaceutical, and industrial effluents. It showcases MBR technology's efficacy in achieving stringent effluent quality standards and complying with environmental regulations through case studies. The insights presented in this paper contribute to a better understanding of MBR technology and inform future developments in the field. This study aims to promote wider adoption of MBRs as a sustainable and efficient solution for global water and wastewater treatment.


Main Subjects

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