The start-up of a two-stage reactor configuration for the anaerobic digestion of sweet sorghum residues was evaluated. The sweet sorghum residues were a waste stream originating from the alcoholic fermentation of sweet sorghum and the subsequent distillation step. This waste stream contained high concentration of solid matter (9% TS) and thus could be characterized as a semi-solid, not easily biodegradable wastewater with high COD (115 g/l). The application of the proposed two-stage configuration (consisting of one thermophilic hydrolyser and one mesophilic methaniser) achieved a methane production of 16 l/l wastewater under a hydraulic retention time of 19 d.

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