In this study, a ceramic membrane with a pore size of 80 nm was incorporated into an anaerobic membrane bioreactor for excellent stability and integrity. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiencies by biodegradation reached 78.6 ± 6.0% with mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) of 12.8 ± 1.2 g/L. Even though the total methane generated was 0.3 ± 0.03 L/g CODutilized, around 67.4% of it dissolved in permeate and was lost beyond collection. As a result, dissolved methane was 2.7 times of the theoretical saturating concentration calculated from Henry's law. When transmembrane pressure (TMP) of the ceramic membrane reached 30 kPa after 25.3 d, 95.2% of the total resistance was attributed to the cake layer, which made it the major contributor to membrane fouling. Compared to the mixed liquor, cake layer was rich in colloids and soluble products that could bind the solids to form a dense cake layer. The Methanosarcinaceae family preferred to attach to the ceramic membranes.

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