|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 3|
Biodegradable solid waste disposal and management has been a major problem in Nigeria and indiscriminate dumping of this waste either into watercourses or drains has led to environmental hazards affecting public health. The study investigated the nutrients level of pit composting and vermicomposting. Wooden bins 60 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm3 in size were constructed and bedding materials (sawdust, egg shell, paper and grasses) and red worms (Eisenia fetida) introduced to facilitate the free movement and protection of the worms against harsh weather. A pit of 100 cm × 100 cm × 100 cm3 was dug and worms were introduced into the pit, which was turned every two weeks. Food waste was fed to the red worms in the bin and pit, respectively. The composts were harvested after 100 days and analysed. The analyses gave: nitrogen has average value 0.87 % and 1.29 %; phosphorus 0.66 % and 1.78 %; potassium 4.35 % and 6.27 % for the pit and vermicomposting, respectively. Higher nutrient status of vermicomposting over pit composting may be attributed to the secretions in the intestinal tracts of worms which are more readily available for plant growth. However, iron and aluminium were more in the pit compost than the vermin compost and this may be attributed to the iron and aluminium already present in the soil before the composting took place. Other nutrients in ppm concentrations were aluminium 4,999.50 and 3,989.33; iron 2,131.83 and 633.40 for the pit and vermicomposting, respectively. These nutrients are only needed by plants in small quantities. Hence, vermicomposting has the higher concentration of essential nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth.
The present study is aimed at alteration of sewage sludge into stable compost product using vermicomposting of sewage sludge mixed with cattle manure and saw dust in five different proportions based on C/N ratios (C/N 15 (R1), 20 (R2), 25 (R3) and 30 (R4); and control (R5)) by employing an epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida. Higher reductions in C/N ratio, CO2 evolution and OUR were observed in R4 demonstrated the compost stability. In addition, R4 proved to be best combination for the growth of the earthworms. In order to observe the optimal degradation, kinetics for degradation of organic matter in vermicomposting were quantitatively evaluated. An approach model was developed by assuming that composting process is carried out in a homogeneous way and the kinetics for decomposition reaction is represented by a Monod-type equation. The results exhibit comparable variations in the kinetic constants Km and K3 under varying parameters during vermicomposting process. Results suggested that higher R2 value in R4, enhanced suitability towards Lineweaver-Burke plot. R4 yields higher degradability coefficient (K) reveals that the occurrence of optimal nutrient balance, which not only enhanced the affinity of enzymes towards substrate but also improved its degradation process. Therefore, it can be proved that R4 provided to be the best feed combination for vermicomposting process as compared to other reactors.
Waste corn pulp was investigated as a potential feedstock during vermicomposting using Eisenia fetida. Corn pulp is the major staple food in Southern Africa and constitutes about 25% of the total organic waste. Wastecooked corn pulp was blended with cow dung in the ratio 6:1 respectively to optimize the vermicomposting process. The feedstock was allowed to vermicompost for 30 days. The vermicomposting took place in a 3- tray plastic worm bin. Moisture content, temperature, pH, and electrical conductivity were monitoreddaily. The NPK content was determined at day 30. During vermicomposting, moisture content increased from 27.68% to 52.41%, temperature ranged between 19- 25◦C, pH increased from 5.5 to 7.7, and electrical conductivity decreased from 80000μS/cm to 60000μS/cm. The ash content increased from 11.40% to 28.15%; additionally the volatile matter increased from 1.45% to 10.02%. An odorless, dark brown vermicompost was obtained. The vermicompost NPK content was 4.19%, 1.15%, and 6.18% respectively.