This study was performed to overcome the low efficiency of anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge and food waste by combining temperature-phased digestion, sequencing batch operation, and co-digestion technology. It was demonstrated that the temperature-phased anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (TPASBR) system for the co-digestion of sewage sludge and food waste resulted in enhanced volatile solids (VS) reduction and methane production rate. At the organic loading rate (OLR) of 2.7 g VS/l/d, the TPASBR system showed the higher VS reduction (61.3%), CH4 yield (0.28 l/g VSadded) and CH4 production rate (0.41 l CH4/l/d) than those (0.29 l CH4/l/d) of the mesophilic two-stage ASBR (MTSASBR). In the specific methanogenic activity (SMA) tests on thermophilic biomass of the TPASBR system, the average SMA of acetate (93 ml CH4/gVSS/d) was much higher than those of propionate (46 ml CH4/g VSS/d) and butyrate (76 ml CH4/g VSS/d). Also, higher specific hydrolytic activity (SHA, 217 mg COD/g VSS/d) of the biomass supported fast hydrolysis under thermophilic conditions. The track study revealed that the most active period of the 24 h cycle was between 6 and 12 h. The enhanced performance of the TPASBR system could be attributed to longer solids retention time, fast hydrolysis, higher CH4 conversion rate, and balanced nutrient condition of co-substrate. It was verified that this combination could be a promising and practical alternative for the simultaneous recycling of two types of organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) with high stability.

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