The present study investigates the potential for thermophilic biohydrogen and methane production from olive pulp, which is the semi-solid residue coming from the two-phase processing of olives. It focussed on: a) production of methane from the raw olive pulp, b) anaerobic bio-production of hydrogen from the olive pulp, and c) subsequent anaerobic treatment of the hydrogen-effluent with the simultaneous production of methane. Both continuous and batch experiments were performed. The hydrogen potential of the olive pulp amounted to 1.6 mmole H2 per g TS. The methane potential of the raw olive pulp and hydrogen-effluent was as high as 19 mmole CH4 per g TS. This suggests that olive pulp is an ideal substrate for methane production and it shows that biohydrogen production can be very efficiently coupled with a subsequent step for methane production.

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