Startup and stability of thermophilic anaerobic digestion of OFMSW

Mutasem El-Fadel, Pascal Saikaly, Sophia Ghanimeh

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    36 Scopus citations


    Anaerobic digestion (AD) of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) is promoted as an energy source and more recently as a greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation measure. In this context, AD systems operating at thermophilic temperatures (55-60°C)-compared to mesophilic temperatures (35-40°C)-have the unique feature of producing hygienic soil conditioners with greater process efficiency, higher energy yield, and more GHG savings. Startup of AD systems is often constrained by the lack of acclimated seeds, leading to process instability and failure. The authors focus on strategies to startup thermophilic digesters treating OFMSW in the absence of acclimated seeds and examines constraints associated with process stability and ways to overcome them. Relevant gaps in the literature and future research needs are delineated.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)2685-2721
    Number of pages37
    JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
    Issue number24
    StatePublished - 2013


    • Anaerobic digestion
    • Mixing
    • Municipal solid waste
    • Stability
    • Startup


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