The purpose of this study was to assess the anaerobic degradation of black liquor with and without additional carbon sources. Batch experiments were conducted using black liquor, from an integrated pulp and paper mill adding ethanol, methanol and nutrients. The PCR/DGGE technique was used to characterize the structure of the microbial community. The addition of extra sources of carbon did not significantly influence the degradation of black liquor under the conditions evaluated and the microbial community was similar in all experiments. It was observed an increase in some members of the archaeal in reactors that had the best efficiencies for removal of black liquor (around 7.5%). Either ethanol or methanol can be used as co-substrates because the produce the same quantitative and qualitative effect.