The anaerobic process is accomplished through biological conversion of organics to methane and carbon dioxide in an oxygen-free environment. The overall conversion process is often described as a three-stage process which may occur simultaneously in an anaerobic digester. These stages are: (1) hydrolysis of insoluble biodegradable organic matter; (2) production of acid from smaller soluble organic molecules; (3) methane generation. The three-stage scheme involving various microbial species can be described as follows: (1) hydrolysis and liquefaction; (2) acidogenesis; (3) methane fermentation.
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