Two anaerobic filters, one mesophilic (35 degrees C) and one thermophilic (55 degrees C), were operated with a papermill wastewater at a series of organic loadings. The hydraulic retention time (HRT) ranged from 6 to 24 h with organic loading rates (OLR) 1.07-12.25 g/l per day. At loading rates up to 8.4 g COD/l d, there was no difference in terms of the removal of soluble COD (SCOD) and gas production. At the higher organic loading rate, the SCOD removal performance of thermophilic digester was slightly better compare to mesophilic digester. Similar trend was also observed in terms of the daily methane production. The stability of thermophilic digester was also better than mesophilic digester particularly for the higher organic loadings. Volatile fatty acid accumulation was observed in the effluent of the mesophilic filter at the higher organic loading rates. The Stover-Kincannon model was applied to both digesters and it was found that model was applicable to both digesters for papermill wastewater. K-B and U-max constants from the Stover-Kincannon model were also derived. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.