A two-stage process combined hydrogen and methane production from household solid waste was demonstrated working successfully. The yield of 43 mL H-2/g volatile solid (VS) added was generated in the first hydrogen production stage and the methane production in the second stage was 500 mL CH4/g VS added. This figure was 21% higher than the methane yield from the one-stage process, which was run as control. Sparging of the hydrogen reactor with methane gas resulted in doubling of the hydrogen production. PH was observed as a key factor affecting fermentation pathway in hydrogen production stage. The optimum PH range for hydrogen production in this system was in the range from 5 to 5.5. The short hydraulic retention time (2 days) applied in the first stage was enough to separate acidogenesis from methanogenesis. No additional control for preventing methanogenesis in the first stage was necessary. Furthermore, this study also provided direct evidence in the dynamic fermentation process that, hydrogen production increase was reflected by acetate to butyrate ratio increase in liquid phase. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Water Research, 2006, Vol 40, Issue 11, p. 2230-2236