Membrane separation proved to be an excellent means to maintain high residence time of microorganisms in an anaerobic hydrolysis reactor, and relatively low concentration of hydrolysis products. The microbial biocommunity typical for the rumen environment could be maintained, and the reactor efficiency of the reactor improved. Less than 4 days were reqired to reach almost complete hydrolysis of the grass fed into the reactor. To avoid blocking of the membrane unit, a backwash system is necessary. The membranes needed to be backwashed every 20 min with 4 bar gas-pressure for 10 s. After this treatment the initial permeability was regained. The plant was operated with a flux of 12 ml h-1cm-2 on average. The transmembrane pressure was in the range of 0.8-0.9 bar. 90% of the dissolved fatty acids permeated through the membrane.

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