The pyrolysis of hydrocarbon-rich sludge in an oxygen-free environment can provide useful liquefaction products and residues. When applied to sewage sludge, energy and time costs are the major factors that affect the operation. Therefore, it is important to understand how the process is affected by temperature. The pyrolysis kinetics of sludge from a petrochemical factory wastewater treatment plant was studied to reveal the effects of temperature on the reaction rate and the magnitude of ΔH and ΔS of the reaction barrier. Oven-dried sludge samples were pyrolyzed in an isothermal reactor under six different temperatures. The residues were weighed at frequent intervals within a total 30-min experiment period. Data analysis indicated that a first order reaction model could describe the pyrolysis kinetics, across all experimental temperature ranges. When transition state theory was applied, the results indicated that the major reaction barrier came from the entropy term of the activation free energy. Therefore, increasing the pyrolysis temperature to overcome the reaction barrier yielded no apparent improvement, but strategies that reduced the entropy should significantly improve the reaction.