The present study investigated a two-stage anaerobic hydrogen and methane process for increasing bioenergy production from organic wastes. A two-stage process with hydraulic retention time (HRT) 3d for hydrogen reactor and 12d for methane reactor, obtained 11% higher energy compared to a single-stage methanogenic process (HRT 15d) under organic loading rate (OLR) 3gVS/(Ld). The two-stage process was still stable when the OLR was increased to 4.5gVS/(Ld), while the single-stage process failed. The study further revealed that by changing the HRThydrogen:HRTmethane ratio of the two-stage process from 3:12 to 1:14, 6.7%, more energy could be obtained. Microbial community analysis indicated that the dominant bacterial species were different in the hydrogen reactors (Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum-like species) and methane reactors (Clostridium thermocellum-like species). The changes of substrates and HRT did not change the dominant species. The archaeal community structures in methane reactors were similar both in single- and two- stage reactors, with acetoclastic methanogens Methanosarcina acetivorans-like organisms as the dominant species.
- Two-stage process
- Anaerobic digestion