In recent years, considerable impetus emerges to develop strategies for reducing excess sludge produced in biological wastewater treatment (BWT) systems. In this study, an experiment on sludge reduction by ultrasound treatment was conducted. The influences of sonication on observed yield, sludge reduction, effluent quality, sludge settleability and stability were extensively evaluated. It was found that ultrasound had an impressive potential to reduce sludge production. Moreover, it was also concluded that a treatment time of 10 minutes was more cost-effective for sludge reduction, and a reduction by 44% was reached with an ultrasonic intensity of 0.25 w/ml. The reduction could be mainly attributed to disintegration of bio-flocs and cryptic growth. In addition, sonication time seemed to be more effective to reduce sludge production compared with ultrasonic intensity. Slight deterioration of the effluent quality and some variations of the sludge settleability and stability were observed after ultrasound treatment.

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