Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 187, Issue 4, pp 1356–1370 | Cite as

An Insight into the Anaerobic Co-digestion of Municipal Solid Waste and Food Waste: Influence of Co-substrate Mixture Ratio and Substrate to Inoculum Ratio on Biogas Production

  • Muhammad Shahbaz
  • Muhammad AmmarEmail author
  • Dexun Zou
  • Rashid Mustafa Korai
  • XiuJin LiEmail author


The unbalanced nutrients of municipal solid waste (MSW), particularly high carbon contents, were regarded as a major limiting factor to anaerobic digestion process. In this study, the addition of MSW in food waste (FW) feedstock to have a balanced C/N ratio was studied. Different co-substrate mixtures with C/N ratio of 20 to 40 were subjected to anaerobic batch experiment at lab scale, under mesophilic conditions. The biogas production decreased with the increase in C/N ratio due to insufficient availability of organic nitrogen for anaerobic microbial growth. Specific biogas and methane yields were observed to be 827 and 474.44 mL g−1VS, respectively, with volatile solids (VS) reduction rate of 88%, at C/N ratio of 20. Furthermore, the effect of the substrate to inoculum (S/I) ratio on digester performance was also studied. The biogas production decreased with the increase in S/I ratio due to the formation of more volatile fatty acids (VFAs) which led to decrease in pH and accumulated unionized ammonia-N. Specific biogas and methane yields were recorded to be 655 and 410.20 mL g−1VS, with 64% rate of biodegradability at S/I ratio of 0.5. Kinetics and statistics study showed that the higher S/I ratio could lead to VFA accumulation and result in low methane yield.


Anaerobic co-digestion Municipal solid waste Food waste Biogas production C/N ratio 


Funding Information

This study received funding from the National “Twelfth Five-Year” plan for Science and Technology Support (2014BAC24BO1-02) and the National “Twelfth-Five Year” plan for Science and Technology Support (2015BAD21B03).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering TechnologyGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Petroleum & Gas EngineeringDawood University of Engineering & TechnologyKarachiPakistan

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