Anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic material is carried out effectively in many natural microbial ecosystems including the rumen. A rumen-enhanced anaerobic sequencing batch reactor was used to investigate cellulose degradation to give analysis of overall process stoichiometry and rates of hydrolysis. The reactor achieved VFA production rates of 207-236 mg COD/L/h at a loading rate of 10 g/L/d. Overloading of the reactor resulted in elevated production of propionic acid, and on occasion, the presence of succinic acid. With improvements in mixing and solids wasting, the anaerobic sequencing batch reactor system could enable full-scale application of the process for treatment of cellulosic waste material.

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