The results of a two-phase system operated in different conditions, treating the source-sorted organic fraction of municipal solid waste (SS-OFMSW), coming mainly from fruit and vegetable markets, are presented. Hydraulic retention time (HRT) in the hydrolytic reactor and in the methanogenic reactor and also the temperature in the hydrolytic reactor (mesophilic and thermophilic conditions) are varied in order to evaluate the effect of these factors. The methanogenic reactor is always operated within the thermophilic range. Optimum operating conditions are found to be around 12 days (total system) using the mesophilic range of temperature in the first reactor. Specific gas production (SGP) in these conditions is around 0.6 m3/kgTVS.
A kinetic study is also carried out, using the first and the step diffusional models. The latter gives much better results, with fitted constants comparable to other studies. Finally, a comparison with a one-phase system is carried out, showing that a two-phase system is much more appropriate for the digestion of this kind of highly biodegradable substrate in thermophilic conditions.