How To Clean MBR Membrane Online?

MBR membrane is an important component of the sewage system and its contamination affects the flux of water. This could occur if the MBR membrane is not regularly cleaned which results in clogged pores. To regain the membrane flux MBR membrane proper cleaning is required. MBR regular cleaning not only helps in regaining the flux but also increases the module’s lifespan. The procedure of the MBR cleaning is described in full below. First of all, let’s get into some details about membrane cleaning.

Figure 1 MBR Membrane

Why Regular Cleaning Of the MBR Membrane Is Necessary?

An important step in the treatment of wastewater is the use of MBR membranes. The role of MBR membrane in the sewage system is the filtration of sewage that is typically highly polluted and contains both more organic and inorganic particles. As a result, the MBR membrane becomes polluted, and the membrane pores get clogged, decreasing water volume that will induce a drop in membrane flow.

So to restore the MBR membrane flux and to increase the MBR membrane’s service life, regular MBR module cleaning is necessary. Regular membrane bioreactor for wastewater treatment cleaning is an important step in improving water quality.

Figure 2 Membrane bioreactor for wastewater treatment

When To Clean MBR Membrane?

The MBR membrane cleaning cycle is not constant or fixed. The cleaning cycle of the membranes depends on how each MBR membrane system is used and maintained.

Chemical cleaning of the MBR membrane depends on the quality of the water and its maintenance. Typically, the MBR membrane is subjected to online cleaning after every three to six months. The MBR system cycle will last longer if the influent waterfalls are within the acceptable range for entering MBR membranes.

The MBR membrane’s useful life can also be increased with routine maintenance and additional maintenance. To properly eliminate contaminants on the surface of the MBR membrane fiber from fouling, MBR maintenance is typically performed once every three to six months.

MBR Cleaning Methods

There are two methods mainly used for MBR membrane cleaning: Online MBR cleaning and offline cleaning. The main difference between the two is that in the former method, the MBR membrane is pulled out while in the latter approach, you have to lift off the membrane module for the MBR cleaning. The fact that the area is tiny and unsuitable for lifting we recommend doing online MBR cleaning first.

Employ offline cleaning if online cleaning is unable to eliminate MBR membrane fouling. To deep clean the MBR membrane, all you have to do is remove the membrane module from the tank, then clean the contaminants by putting it in the alkaline cleaning solution for more than five hours. Let’s get into the detailed steps for online MBR cleaning.

Figure 3 MBR Cleaning

Steps For Online MBR Cleaning

It is preferable to start with the online MBR membrane cleaning method. In this approach, there is no need to remove the membrane module. Just use the cleaning agent to clean it without removing it. Online MBR wastewater treatment steps are as follows:

1. Close the water pipe after stopping the suction pump to clean MBR.

2. After remaining for one minute, turn off the blower to stop aeration.

3. The cleaning solution should be injected after opening the dosing pipe and starting the dosing pump.

4. Before releasing the treated water, dilute any chlorine that is still present. Alternatively, put the cleaned water back in the aerobic tank to dilute any chlorine that clings.

5. Do the aforementioned tasks, then switch on the suction pump, open the suction line, and carry on as normal.

Figure 4 Steps For Online MBR Cleaning

Cleaning Solution For Online MBR Cleaning

● 2% Hydrochloric Acid

● 200mg/L Oxidizing agent NaOH

● Enzyme preparation, surfactant (0.1%-2%) /

● 1000-2000mg/L NaClO


● Check the cleaning agent’s concentration if employing sodium hypochlorite for the MBR treatment.

● A cleaning test might be necessary when the MBR membrane’s flow is very low. If the test results show that the cleaning process removes contaminants very effectively, it indicates your method to clean the MBR membrane is effective.

● When performing chemical cleaning procedures, please wear safety clothing, goggles, and other protective equipment as sodium hypochlorite is also harmful to human health.

Figure 5 MBR treatment

Final Words

Here is our comprehensive guide on how to clean MBR membranes online. We have mentioned detailed steps for the MBR treatment process along with some precautions to follow if you want safe cleaning. We hope you find our guide helpful.

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