In this work, the influence of an ultrasonic pre-treatment on anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge is studied. Attention is paid to the solubilisation of the main organic (proteins, carbohydrates) and inorganic (heavy metals) sludge components during ultrasonic treatment and the influence of the dry solids content (DS) on the degree of solubilisation. The second part of the paper focuses on the relationship between the applied specific energy of the ultrasonic treatment and methane production. In general, a higher specific energy and a higher DS content are beneficial for the release of organic matter, resulting in an increased methane production. The efficiency of the subsequent anaerobic digestion is similar for both sludge types (2.1 and 3.2% DS). However, at lower DS contents (2.1%), the methane production increase was more significant.

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