In recent years, anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology for municipal wastewater treatment is increasingly being researched as a cost-effective alternative to produce nutrient rich, solids free effluents with a high degree of pathogen removal, while occupying a small footprint. To date, especially in the last decade, many studies have been conducted in which various types of anaerobic reactors were used in combination with membranes. This review critically evaluates the potential of anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology for municipal wastewater treatment with a focus on different types of anaerobic reactors that membranes are coupled to. In addition, the paper discusses the impact of the various factors on both biological and filtration performances of anaerobic membrane bioreactors including strengths and limitations. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.