Sludge is a residue/product from wastewater treatment plants and contains most of the contaminants released during human activities. Some stringent environmental regulations on sludge treatment and disposal exist in many countries. This has resulted in increasing interest in sludge treatment methods that encourage sludge reduction and improvement in biogas production during anaerobic digestion processes. This work demonstrates the first exploitation of valuable energy from homogenised sludge at technical scale with mass reduction. The optimal combination of sludge homogenisation at relatively low pressures using a modified high-pressure homogeniser led to the success of this unique project. Results showed that about 30% more energy could be obtained from thickened and disrupted sludge than from untreated samples. The energy produced was higher than that invested during disruption and digestion processes. About 23% sludge reduction was also observed with no increase in chemical oxygen demand. This new process can produce extra energy for local electrification and heating the digester while the sludge reduction provides economic benefits. Concentration of sludge causes reduction in investment cost on digester as well as reduction in operational time for sludge dewatering.

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