Batch anaerobic digestion tests of primary sludge and waste activated sludge were conducted for a duration of 123 days to determine the ultimate degradability of the sludges. For primary sludges the inert fraction of the particulate COD that was predicted by the wastewater models could be employed to predict their biodegradability under anaerobic conditions. The degradation of waste activated sludge was adequately characterized for the first 60 days of digestion using a model that assumed equivalent biodegradability of particulate COD components under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. However after 60 days of anaerobic digestion it appeared that decay of the endogenous products was occurring. This could be described with a first order decay function with a coefficient of 0.0075 d−1. For continuous flow digesters operating at SRTs of 30–60 days, the predicted VSS destruction with the modified model was approximately 10% higher than that predicted on the basis of inert endogenous decay products.

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