Forward-osmosis anaerobic-membrane bioreactors for brewery wastewater remediation

Carina Schneider, Alberto Oñoro Evangelio , Claus Hélix-Nielsen, Ioannis Fotidis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Since most of the water used for brewing becomes wastewater, the reduction of wastewater streams is of great importance for the brewing industry. Anaerobic membrane bioreactors incorporating forward osmosis membranes (FO-AnMBRs) could provide an energy-efficient solution for the treatment of brewery wastewater, while recovering water and simultaneously producing biogas. The start-up period of two lab-scale FO-AnMBRs fed with real (Rreal) and synthetic (Rsynth) brewery wastewater was assessed and compared to continuous stirred tank reactor operation without membranes. During reactor start-up, the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the reactors was reduced from 20 to 2.5 days while increasing the organic loading rate. The CH4 production of Rsynth and Rreal increased up to nine-fold when the membranes were integrated, demonstrating the principle that FO-AnMBR can be used for brewery wastewater treatment. However, process stability decreased with decreasing HRT, possibly due to shear stress and the inadequate C/N ratio of the wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117786
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • FO-AnMBR
  • Industrial wastewater
  • Methane
  • Shear stress
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Water recovery

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