The effect of sludge freezing/thawing on its disintegration and subsequent use as substrate in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) was investigated to enhance organic matter degradation and electricity generation. Experimental results indicated that long freezing time (more than 48 h) was effective in disintegrating the sludge collected from the secondary sedimentation tank of a wastewater treatment plant. Freezing/thawing pretreatment could enhance the degradation of total chemical oxygen demand (COD) and electricity generation in MFC due to the higher concentration of soluble COD and ammonium nitrogen available in the pretreated sludge. The removal efficiency of total COD was increased from 25.3% (raw sludge as substrate) to 66.2% and the maximum power output was increased from 8.9 (raw sludge as substrate) to 10.2 W/m3 in MFC.

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