Rice straw is one of the most abundant renewable energy sources available. Through anaerobic acidogenesis, the substance of rice straw can be converted to volatile fatty acids (VFAs). VFAs itself is of value and is a precursor to biofuels. Hence, it can be converted to mixed alcohols by addition of hydrogen, and biodiesel can be produced as a carbon source for oleaginous microorganism. To maximize VFAs production during anaerobic digestion (AD), response surface analysis (RSM) was carried out with respect to temperature, substrate concentration, and pH variables. Optimization results showed maximal VFAs concentration of 12.37 g/L at 39.23 A degrees C, 52.85 g/L of rice straw, and pH 10. In quantification of microbial community by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, the bacterial profile showed that the growth of methanogens was effectively inhibited by methanogenic inhibitors. Furthermore, 454 pyrosequencing showed that members of the Ruminococcaceae family, capable of hydrolyzing lignocellulosic biomass, were the most dominant species in many RSM trials. This study provided a useful insight on the biological improvement of AD performance through the combinational linkage between process parameters and microbial information.