The organic fraction of municipal solid waste represents a potential feedstock to be treated through biorefining. However, the process feasibility strongly depends on the effectiveness of a chemical pretreatment. Consequently, experimentation aimed at choosing the optimal type of reagent (alkali or acids) and optimal operating conditions was carried out. The best results were obtained using NaOH at room temperature. Solubilization data are in good agreement with a kinetics based on two competing reactions. Simulation of the overall process (pretreatment and acidogenic fermentation) taking place in two CFSTR reactors shows that an optimum ratio exists between the hydraulic residence times of the two stages of the process.

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