Raising organic loading rate, and the behavior of dissolved CODcr (D-CODcr), VFA and specific methanogen activity, were investigated through a laboratory experiment for the start-up of a sludge recycling center. Moreover, application for MPN-PCR methods using a gene as a direct technique to measure the quantity of methanogen was attempted. It was recognized that specific methanogen activity depends on the quantity of methanogen, and that gas production does not reflect the condition of methane fermentation. The methane fermentation condition was checked through the specific methanogen activity and analysis of D-CODcr. The target organic loading rate was reached in the short period of about 30 days, and rapid start-up was successfully attained for a full-scale anaerobic digester.

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