Inderscience Publishers

Process parameters analysis for the vermicomposting of shredded paper using Pheretimoid Spp.

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This study was to assess the effect of new species of earthworms, Pheretimoid Spp., on vermicomposting and compare the quality of vermicompost against compost produced from the same mix ratio of shredded office paper (SOP) together with grass clippings (GC) and cow manure (CM). Two composting experiments were setup in rotary drum composters namely: 1) composting of SOP, GC and CM followed by vermicomposting (denoted as reactor VC); 2) composting of SOP, GC and CM without the addition of worms (denoted as reactor C). The composting mixes consisted of a ratio of 1:4.3:3 on a mass basis of SOP, GC and CM respectively. When a temperature of 28–30°C was reached in reactor VC, adult Pheretimoid Spp. were introduced for the vermicomposting experiment. Copper and lead were found to be 44.8 mg/kg and 21.2 mg/kg, respectively for VC whereas a concentration of 51.2 mg/kg and 27.0 mg/kg were obtained in C. Cadmium was undetectable in vermicompost whilst 0.945 mg/kg of Cd was present in the compost. Analysis of the total nutrients content suggest that the amount of nutrients present (N, P, K, Ca, Mg) in VC was relatively higher than that of C with an increase of 0.05% to 0.23%.

Keywords: shredded paper, vermicomposting, Pheretimoid Spp, nutrients, heavy metals, earthworms, office paper, grass clippings, cow manure, copper, lead, cadmium

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