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Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 418727, 7 pages
Research Article

New Strategy for a Suitable Fast Stabilization of the Biomethanization Performance

1Department of Chemical Engineering and Food Technology, Faculty of Science, University of Cadiz, Cadiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Spain
2Department of Environmental Technologies, Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of Cadiz, Cadiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Spain

Received 20 June 2012; Revised 24 September 2012; Accepted 2 October 2012

Academic Editor: Michael Hoppert

Copyright © 2012 L. A. Fernández-Güelfo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The start-up strategies for thermophilic anaerobic reactors usually consist of an initial mesophilic stage (35°C), with an approximate duration of 185 days, and a subsequent thermophilic stage (55°C), which normally requires around 60 days to achieve the system stabilizatio. During the first 8–10 days of the mesophilic stage, the reactor is not fed so that the inoculum, which is generally a mesophilic anaerobic sludge, may be adapted to the organic solid waste. Between mesophilic and thermophilic conditions the reactor is still not fed in an effort to prevent possible imbalances in the proces. As a consequence, the start-up and stabilization of the biomethanization performance described in the literature require, at least, around 245 days. In this sense, a new strategy for the start-up and stabilization phases is presented in this study. This approach allows an important reduction in the overall time necessary for these stages in an anaerobic continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) operated at thermophilic-dry conditions for treating the organic fraction of the municipal solid waste (OFMSW): 60 days versus 245 days of conventional strategies. The new strategy uses modified SEBAC technology to adapt an inoculum to the OFMSW and the operational conditions prior to seeding the CSTR.