A lab-scale leaching bed reactor (LBR) was operated to (1) investigate the potential of in-vessel solid-state anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) and (2) examine the feasibility of using LBRs for hydrolysis/liquefaction and acidification of organic fraction of MSW for maximum total volatile fatty acid (tVFA) and alcohol production. A hydrolysis efficiency of 60% was achieved in the LBR, which was mainly affected by the solids content of organic fraction of MSW, the amount of water addition into the LBR and the channeling through the waste bed. The net mass of tVFA produced was 7000 mg at the end of 80 d. The main individual VFAs produced were acetic and butyric acids and the main alcohol was ethanol. The variations in the by-products of acidification were mainly due to the nature of feed and pH variations in the LBR. LBRs achieved rapid hydrolysis and acidification of organic fraction of MSW. consequently, high hydrolysis yield, chemical oxygen demand removal and tVFA production. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.