Systematically testing alternative cleaning agents and cleaning procedures on a large scale municipal membrane bioreactor, the Erftverband optimized the cleaning strategies and refined the original cleaning procedures for the hollow fiber membranes in use. A time-consuming, intensive ex-situ membrane cleaning twice a year was initially the regular routine. By introducing the effective means of cleaning in place in use today, which employs several acidic and oxidative/alkaline cleaning steps, intensive membrane cleaning could be delayed for years. An overview and an assessment of various cleaning strategies for large scale plants are given.

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