Three different sizes of powdered activated carbon (PAC) were added in hybrid anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) and their performance was compared with a conventional AnMBR without PAC in treating palm oil mill effluent. Their working volume was 1 L each. From the result, AnMBRs with PAC performed better than the AnMBR without PAC. It was also found that adding a relatively smaller size of PAC (approximately 100 μm) enhanced the chemical oxygen demand removal efficiency to 78.53 ± 0.66%, while the concentration of mixed liquor suspended solid and mixed liquor volatile suspended solid were 8,050 and 6,850 mg/L, respectively. The smaller size of PAC could also enhance the biofloc formation and biogas production. In addition, the smaller particle sizes of PAC incorporated into polyethersulfone membrane resulted in higher performance of membrane fouling control and produced better quality of effluent as compared to the membrane without the addition of PAC.

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