Abstract The performance of the ATS process depends essentially on the oxygen transfer efficiency. Improvement of the mass transfer capacity of a bioreactor allowed to reduce the incubation time necessary to attain sludge stabilization. It is important to use equipment with a high aeration efficiency such as an injector aeration system. The ratio between the total oxygen consumption and the organic matter degradation (ΔCOD) ranged between 0.4 and 0.8 in the pilot plant, whereas 1.23 was found in completely mixed bioreactors (Bomio, 1990). No significant improvement of the bacterial degradation efficiency was attained with a specific power input exceeding 6–8 kW m −3. A mean residence time of less than 1 d allowed organic matter removals up to 40% with specific power consumption of 10 kWh kg −1 COD oxidized. The sludge hygienization is one of the objectives and benefits of the thermophilic treatment: not only temperature but also the total solids content were important factors affecting inactivation of pathogens. The inactivation rate was promoted by the increase of temperature, while the residual colony forming units decreased with reducing the total solids content of sewage sludge. It is concluded that continuous operation mode would not affect the quality of the hygienization but could display the high degradation potential of the aerobic system.