The objective of the study was to identify alternative cleaning reagents to chlorine for membrane permeability regeneration in MBR applications. Indeed, chlorine is prohibited in some countries because of the formation of by-products such as THM. The study was focused on the comparison of ten cleaning reagents performances and in particular on their ability to remove irreversible fouling. The tests were carried on with the A3 Water Solutions' Maxflow membrane (flat sheet membrane). A specific experimental protocol was defined at lab scale to develop an irreversible fouling by filtering sludge supernatant. The more promising reagents at lab scale were then tested on the A3 membrane continuously immersed in a MBR pilot plant functioning under typical biological conditions (MLSS = 11 g/l; SRT = 28days). A full scale test was finally performed with hydrogen peroxide, one of the best reagents. Chlorine was taken as reference for all performed tests. The cleaning performances of the selected reagents were different at the different scales, probably due to the difficulty to obtain an irreversible membrane fouling at larger scales. This testing procedure will be reproduced with other membrane materials to have a better understanding of interactions between irreversible fouling, material nature and chemical reagents.

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