The methane potential of a leach bed reactor (LBR) coupled to an anaerobic filter (AF) was assessed using energy maize (Zea mays) as substrate. Four LBRs were used operated as pairs, with and without leachate recirculation, over two feed cycles with retention times of 14 and 28 days. Performance was estimated from the total solids destruction in the LBR, and the volatile fatty acid (VFA) and soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) in the leachate. Overall conversion of fresh substrate added to the combined system was good although the organic loading rate (OLR) was limited. The coupled LBR demonstrated improved hydrolysis performance promoted by good buffering, and the AF showed rapid conversion of leachate SCOD into methane with possible further hydrolysis and acidification. Theoretical estimation of the methane potential showed that between 20–40% of the methane was formed in the LBR and was not captured in this trial.

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