• sewage sludge;
  • microwave;
  • anaerobic digestion;
  • biogas;
  • biodegradability


Microwave irradiation is a novel and very promising technology for sludge conditioning. As pretreatment, it has a verified beneficial effect on the microbial degradation and anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, but in present work we dealt with the applicability of microwave pretreatments for food industrial sludge. However, studies cannot be found that specialize on the effects of the MW treatments with different intensities on the anaerobic digestion of sludge. In our work we focused on the examination of the effect of MW pretreatment for 0.5, 2.5, and 5 W/g on the carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD5), solubilization of organic matters (sCOD/tCOD), and the mesophilic anaerobic digestion of dairy sewage sludge. It can be concluded that the MW pretreatments were appropriate to enhance the efficiency of anaerobic digestion. With MW pretreatments the specific biogas product could be increased from 220 mL g−1 to more than 600 mL g−1 because of the increased solubility (from 9.7% to more than 40%), and the enhanced accessibility of organic compounds for decomposing bacteria. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2011