Document Type: Review Article


1 Young Researchers and Elite Club; Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr Branch, Qaemshahr, Iran

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Babol Noshirvani University of Technology, Babol, Iran


Know days, pollution made by the wastewater in rivers and other water body’s is one of the main concerns of environmental engineers. Membrane bioreactors are one of the earliest methods for treating swage and also to produce water that is acceptable for reuse purposes. The term membrane bioreactor expresses a combination of activated sludge and membrane separation processes. The need to processes like sedimentation and disinfection used in common methods is eliminated through MBR systems in a way that membranes are placed into or out of an aeration tank and the vacuumed wastewater created by the suction pump is pulled up from inside the membranes and leaves the Mixed Liquid Suspended Solids (MLSS) inside the aeration tank. MBR allows biological processes to work in a long SRT (20 to 100 days generally) and therefore concentration of the MLSS can increase even higher than 10000 mg/l. 93-99% removal of BOD, COD and 85-97% nitrification performance has been proved by different experiments. Membrane filtration removes biological pollutants, particulate materials and colloid dilution, turbidity, microorganisms, suspension impurities and elements such as iron and manganese. Concerning the advantages of this system, smaller required space due to the omission of sedimentation tank, extra disposable sludge production reduction about 60-75 percent, constant effluent quality and its independence from influent can be mentioned. Membrane fouling and its periodic replacement are the main disadvantages of this system. Membrane bioreactor technology can be used as a technology to treat different types of wastewater and to produce effluent with a good and suitable quality for reusing.


Adema, M., Benson, H., 2001. Membrane biological nonoily wastewater treatment systems for ships, Virginia.
Aileen, N.L., Kim, S., 2007. A mini-review of modeling studies on membrane bioreactor (MBR) treatment for municipal wastewaters, Desalination. 212, 261–281.
Bridle, K., Stephenson, T., Semmens, M.J., 2009. pilotplant treatment of a high-strength Bewery wastewater using a membrane-aeration bioreactor, 71, 1197-2004.
Buer, T., Cumin, J., 2010. MBR module design and operation, Desalination. 250, 1073–1077.
Crites, R., Tchobnanoglous, G., 2013. Small and decentralized wastewater management systems, McGraw Hill Inc.
Eckenfelder, W., 2010. Industrial water pollution control. McGraw Hill Inc..
Gander, M., Jefferson, B., Judd, S., 2014. Membrane bioreactors for use in small wastewater treatment plants: membrane materials and effluent quality, Water. Sci. Technol. (In press).
Gander, M., Jefferson, B., Judd, S., 2000. Aerobic MBRs for domestic wastewater treatment: a review with cost considerations, Separation and Purification. 18. 119-130.
Judd, S., 2006. The MBR book: Principles and applications of membrane bioreactors in water and wastewater treatment. Elsevier, Oxford.
Le-Clech, P., Chen, V., Fane, A.G., 2006. Fouling in membrane bioreactors used for wastewater treatment – A review, J. Memb. Sci. 284, 17-53.
Massé, A., 2004. Bioréacteurs à membranes immerges pour le traitement des eaux résiduaires urbaines spécificités physico-chimiques du milieu biologique et colmatage, Thèse INSA Tououse, N°ordre 759.
Metcalf & Eddy. 2004. Wastewater Engineering, Treatment and Reuse, Fourth Edition, McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Ognier, S., Wisniewski, C., Grasmick, A., 2002. Influence of macromolecule adsorption during filtration of a membrane bioreactor mixed liquor suspension, J. Membr. Sci. 209, 27–37.
Pouet, M.F., Grasmick, A., Homer, F., Nauleau, F., Cornier, J.C., 2011. Tertiary treatment of urban wastewater by cross-flow microfiltration, 17th Biennial Int. Conf., Budapest, 24–29 July.
Schwartz, T.C., Herring, B.R., 2001. The first year's performance of a membrane bioreactor compared with conventional wastewater treatment of domestic waste, Proceedings of WEFTEC.
Sharrer, M.J., Ferrier, Y., Tal, D., Hankins, J.A., Summerfelt, S.T., 2007. Membrane biological reactor treatment of a saline backwash flow from a recirculating aquaculture system, Aquac. Eng. 36, 159–176.
Smith, C.W., Gregorio, D., Taleott, R.M., 2009. The use of ultrafiltration membrane for activated sludge separation, Presented at the 24th Annual Purdue Industrial Waste Conference, 1300–1310.
Stephenson, T., Judd, S., Jefferson, B., Brindle, K., 2000. Membrane Bioreactors for Wastewater Treatment. IWA Publishing, London.
Tardieu, E., Grasmick, A., Geaugey, V., Manem, J., Xing, C.H., 2012. Pilot study of domestic wastewater tretment by ceramic membrane bioreactor. Treatment performances and fouling characterisation, Wefuec,
Singapore, 8–11 March.
Till, S., Mallia, H., 2001. Membrane Bioreactors: Wastewater Treatment Applications to Achieve High Quality Effluent, Presented at the 64th Annual Water Industry Engineers and Operators Conference.
Verberk, J., Vandijk, H., 2002. Research on AirFlush: distribution of water and air in tubular and capillary membrane modules, Berichte aus dem IWW RheinischWestfälisches Institut für Wasserforschung.
Wisniewski, C., 2007. Membrane bioreactor for water reuse, Desalination. 203, 15–19.
Yang, W., Cicek, N., Ilg, J., 2006. State-of-the-art of membrane bioreactors: Worldwide research and commercial applications in North America, J. Membr. Sci. 270, 201–211.