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What is MBR Membrane Fouling?

What Is MBR Membrane Fouling?

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Last Updated on April 5, 2023 by Kevin Chen

MBR Membrane fouling is the formation of impurity particles, colloidal particles, and solute macromolecules on the membrane surface or in the membrane pores due to physical, chemical, or mechanical interactions with the membrane during the water treatment process. It can lead to changes in the flux and separation characteristics of the MBR membrane. The immediate source of substances leading to MBR Fouling is the sludge mixture in the bioreactor, which contains the microbiota and its metabolites, organic macromolecules and small molecules in the wastewater, soluble substances, and solid particles.

How To Avoid MBR Membrane Fouling?

Poor feed water quality conditions basically cause MBR Fouling, so when MBR is fouling, it is recommended first to check whether the feed water meets the standard.

1. Strengthening pre-treatment, such as installing a fine screen less than 2mm, can filter out some of the larger impurities in the water, reducing the MBR membrane clogged and reducing the MBR membrane being polluted caused by large particles.

2. Put the MBR membrane module into operation only when the microorganism culture activity is good.

3. Intermittent operation: The suction pump operates for 8 minutes, stops for 2 minutes, avoids membrane pore clogging, and has a long time of stable work.

4. The aeration pipes at the bottom of the MBR membrane module can wash the surface of the MBR fibers by the bubbles and water flow.

5. In the initial operation, the smaller the negative suction pressure, the better. We can read suction pressure through the negative pressure gauge. Diaphragm regular operation negative pressure control in -0.005 – 0.02Mpa. Initially, it is best to be between 0.005 – 0.01Mpa.

SPERTA II MBR Membrane
SPERTA II MBR Membrane

What If The MBR Membrane Is Fouling?

If the MBR membrane is fouling, we can clean the MBR membrane. Generally, after cleaning, it can restore some of the performance. MBR membrane cleaning can be divided into physical cleaning and chemical cleaning. If both cleaning methods are used, but the MBR membrane still can not restore to the minimum flux demand, then we can only replace the new MBR membrane.

The above is the information about the MBR Membrane process. If you still have questions about the membrane bioreactor or need to purchase MBR membranes, don’t hesitate to contact SPERTA.

Shanghai SPERTA Environmental Technology Co., Ltd. has specialized in producing water treatment products for many years. The company has the core technology of producing MBR membrane components and has a high production capacity, aiming to build a high-quality brand of MBR production and sales all over the world. If you have any needs, please feel free to contact us.

Kevin Chen

Kevin Chen

Hi, I'm the author of this post and have been in this field for over 5 years. If you have questions regarding the MBR membrane products or want to purchase the MBR membrane, please feel free to contact me by email. kevin@spertasystems.com

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MBR Offline Cleaning I

How to Do Offline Chemical Cleaning For MBR Membranes

Step 1: Remove the suction tube and the aeration tube from the MBR module. Then take the MBR module out of the tank. 

Step 2: Use a nozzle to clean and remove the activated sludge attached to the surface of the fibers.

Step 3: Take the MBR elements out of the module and immerse the elements in a prescribed chemical solution tank. Stay for 6-12 hours.

Step 4: Take out the MBR element from the immersion cleaning tank and wash it thoroughly with water to remove the chemical solution.

Step 5: Install the MBR on the MBR module after cleaning.

Step 6: Connect the aeration pipe and put the module in the tank. Stop the filtration, just let the aeration run for more than 30 minutes, and then start the filtration.

Step 7: Before discharging the chemical solution, reduce the sodium hypochlorite with sodium thiosulfate (Na2S2O3 NH2O), and then discharge.

Step 8: If there is a large amount of inorganic scale on the surface of the MBR after sodium hypochlorite washing, acid washing is also needed.

MBR Reference XI

How To Backwash MBR Membranes?

Tip 1: Use produced water or higher quality water as the backwash water.
Tip 2: Control the backwash pressure at 50 – 100 kPa.
Tip 3: Set backwash flow: 2 times of the produced water. 
Tip 4: Set backwash time: 1 – 5min.
Tip 5: Adjust the backwash process per 1-12h according to the produced water quality.

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