Owing to increasingly stringent effluent quality requirements, intensifications of the conventional activated sludge process (ASP) are required. Due to high biomass concentrations employed, higher metabolic rates and better nutrient removal are possible in membrane bioreactors (MBRs). Decoupling of hydraulic and solids residence times offers additional possibilities for process design and optimisation. Recently, unconventional concepts like post-denitrification and enhanced biological phosphorus removal in MBRs have emerged. The objective of this paper is to present current knowledge on nutrients removal in MBRs and trends in process optimisation in comparison with conventional ASP.

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