The aim of this study is to increase biogas production and methane yield from landfill leachate in anaerobic batch reactors by using low frequency ultrasound as a pretreatment step. In the first part of the study, optimum conditions for solubilization of organic matter in leachate samples were investigated using various sonication durations at an ultrasound frequency of 20 kHz. The level of organic matter solubilization during ultrasonic pretreatment experiments was determined by calculating the ratio of soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) to total chemical oxygen demand (tCOD). The sCOD/tCOD ratio was increased from 47% in raw leachate to 63% after 45 min sonication at 600 W/I. Non-parametric Friedman's test indicated that ultrasonic pretreatment has a significant effect on sCOD parameter for leachate (p < 0.05). In the second part of the study, anaerobic batch reactors were operated for both ultrasonically pretreated and untreated landfill leachate samples in order to assess the effect of sonication on biogas and methane production rate. In anaerobic batch reactor feed with ultrasonically pretreated leachate, 40% more biogas was obtained compared to the control reactor. For statistical analysis, Mann-Whitney U test was performed to compare biogas and methane production rates for raw and pretreated leachate samples and it has been found that ultrasonic pretreatment significantly enhanced biogas and methane production rates from leachate (p < 0.05) in anaerobic batch reactors. The overall results showed that low frequency ultrasound pretreatment can be potentially used for wastewater management especially with integration of anaerobic processes. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.