The performance of a novel high-rate anaerobic process, the anaerobic digestion elutriated phased treatment (ADEPT) process, for treating a slurry-type piggery waste (55 g COD/L and 37 g TS/L) was investigated. The ADEPT process consists of an acid elutriation slurry reactor for hydrolysis and acidification, followed by an upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactor for methanification. This process provides stable and high system performance with short HRT (7.4 d) and better effluent quality (2 g SCOD/L and 0.68 g VSS/L) due to the alkaline pH condition for hydrolysis/acidification phase, high refractory solids removal and ammonia toxicity reduction. The optimum pH and HRT for hydrolysis/acidogenesis of the piggery waste were 9 and 5 days at both 35°C and 55°C conditions. The hydrolysis and acidification rate in the mesophilic reactor were 0.05 d-1 and 0.11 d-1 , meaning that hydrolysis was a limiting step. SCOD production by the hydrolysis was about 0.26 g SCOD/g VSfed (3.6 g SCOD/g VS reduction). Methane production and content in the system were 0.3 L CH4/g VSfed (0.67 L CH4/g VS destroyed) and 80%, respectively, corresponding to 0.23 L CH4/g COD removal (@STP).

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