Anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge can be improved by introducing a disintegration of excess activated sludge as a pretreatment process. The disintegration brings a deeper degradation of organic matter and less amount of output sludge for disposal, a higher production of biogas and consequently energy yield, in some cases suppression of digesters foaming and better dewaterability. The full-scale application of disintegration by a lysate-thickening centrifuge was monitored long term in three different WWTPs. The evaluation of contribution of disintegration to biogas production and digested sludge quality was assessed and operational experience is discussed. Increment of specific biogas production was evaluated in the range of 15–26%, organic matter in digested sludge significantly decreased to 48–49%. Results proved that the installation of a disintegrating centrifuge in WWTPs of different sizes and conditions would be useful and beneficial.

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