Biosolids production in the activated sludge process generates an additional cost to wastewater treatment plants due to the growing requirements for sludge treatment and disposal. This work focuses on the application of ozonation to reduce sludge production in an industrial wastewater treatment plant. The results show that ozonation was able to promote cell wall rupture, releasing intracellular matter into the liquid medium. This effect was observed by the increase in concentrations of DNA (1.14 to 7.83 mg/L) and proteins (0.5 to 45.602 mg/L) in the liquid phase, when ozonation was applied during 10 min, using 30 mg/L of ozone. Reduction of sludge production was assessed by calculating the observed sludge yield coefficient (Y) in bench-scale continuous experiments conducted with varying proportions of ozonated sludge in the recycle stream and recycle ratios. Reduction of sludge production ranged from 14 to 39%, depending on the experimental conditions. The best result in terms of sludge excess reduction was achieved when 20% of the recycle sludge was ozonated and the recycle ratio was 0.67.

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