Membrane-Based Processes Used in Municipal Wastewater Treatment for Water Reuse: State-Of-The-Art and Performance Analysis

Membranes (Basel). 2020 Jun 25;10(6):131. doi: 10.3390/membranes10060131.


Wastewater reuse as a sustainable, reliable and energy recovery concept is a promising approach to alleviate worldwide water scarcity. However, the water reuse market needs to be developed with long-term efforts because only less than 4% of the total wastewater worldwide has been treated for water reuse at present. In addition, the reclaimed water should fulfill the criteria of health safety, appearance, environmental acceptance and economic feasibility based on their local water reuse guidelines. Moreover, municipal wastewater as an alternative water resource for non-potable or potable reuse, has been widely treated by various membrane-based treatment processes for reuse applications. By collecting lab-scale and pilot-scale reuse cases as much as possible, this review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the membrane-based treatment processes, mainly focused on the hydraulic filtration performance, contaminants removal capacity, reuse purpose, fouling resistance potential, resource recovery and energy consumption. The advances and limitations of different membrane-based processes alone or coupled with other possible processes such as disinfection processes and advanced oxidation processes, are also highlighted. Challenges still facing membrane-based technologies for water reuse applications, including institutional barriers, financial allocation and public perception, are stated as areas in need of further research and development.

Keywords: disinfection efficiency; fouling; membrane processes; municipal wastewater reuse; water recovery.

Publication types

  • Review