For evaluating the methanogenesis from typical methanogenic precursors (formate, acetate and H-2/CO2), CH4 production kinetics were investigated at 37 +/- 1 degrees C in batch anaerobic digestion tests and stimulated by modified Gompertz model. The results showed that maximum methanation rate from formate, acetate and H-2/CO2 were 19.58 +/- 0.49, 42.65 +/- 1.17 and 314.64 +/- 3.58 N mL/gVS/d in digested manure system and 6.53 +/- 0.31, 132.04 +/- 3.96 and 640.16 +/- 19.92 N mL/gVS/d in sewage sludge system during second generation incubation. Meanwhile the model could not fit well in granular sludge system, while the rate of formate methanation was faster than from H-2/CO2 and acetate. Considering both the kinetic results and microbial assay we could conclude that H-2/CO2 methanation was the fastest methanogenic step in digested manure and sewage sludge system with Methanomicrobiales as dominant methanogens, while granular sludge with Methanobacteriales as dominant methanogens contributed to the fastest formate methanation. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.