Waste sludge lysate was produced by dehydration after pyrolysis of waste activated sludge. In addition to dominant components such as protein, polysaccharide, and volatile fatty acids (VFAs), it also contained melanoidins, which produced from Maillard reaction. The inclusion of melanoidins will lead to poor biological degradation in conventional anaerobic digestion (AD). While microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) was proved an enhanced degradation of complex organic matter for hydrogen production. The results showed that under high concentration conditions, conventional AD caused the accumulation of propionic acid and slowed down the use of acetic acid, but MEC overcame the defects and increased the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency by 40.33%, and achieved average hydrogen production rate (0.15 ± 0.05 L L-1 day-1), which was 79 times that of AD system (0.0019 ± 0.0009 L L-1 day-1). Therefore, MEC can enhanced biodegradation of the waste sludge lysate for high hydrogen production.