The upgrading of night soil anaerobic digestion processes was studied by field investigation of the performance of anaerobic digesters in existing night soil treatment plants and by serai-continuous experiments with bench-scale digesters. Both the average monthly amount of collected night soil fed to a digester and the concentration of volatile solids in night soil increased in winter. A good correlation was found to exist between gas production and digestion temperature. The COD removal rate in the first digester was markedly higher than that in the second digester. The stirring period in the first digester in one plant differs from that in the other plant. Stirring the first digester for too long a period reduces the rate of COD removal by the second digester in the two-stage anaerobic digestion process. The first digester should be stirred for more than one hour per day in order to promote gas production. Gas production and CODCr removal rate in the second digester were hardly affected by reductions in retention time ranging from 15 days to 5 days. As night soil contains a large amount of cellulose and other refractory organics, some kind of pretreatment of the night soil fed to the digester may be necessary for the promotion of acidogenesis in the two-phase anaerobic digestion process.

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