Author(s): Gajalakshmi S, Ramasamy EV, Abbasi SA
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Abstract In an attempt to develop a system with which the aquatic weed water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes, Mart. Solms) can be economically processed to generate vermicompost in large quantities, the weed was first composted by a 'high-rate' method and then subjected to vermicomposting in reactors operating at much larger densities of earthworm than recommended hitherto: 50, 62.5, 75, 87.5, 100, 112.5, 125, 137.5, and 150 adults of Eudrilus eugeniae Kinberg per litre of digester volume. The composting step was accomplished in 20 days and the composted weed was found to be vermicomposted three times as rapidly as uncomposted water hyacinth [Bioresource Technology 76 (2001) 177]. The studies substantiated the feasibility of high-rate composting-vermicomposting systems, as all reactors yielded consistent vermicast output during seven months of operation. There was no earthworm mortality during the first four months in spite of the high animal densities in the reactors. In the subsequent three months a total of 79 worms died out of 1650, representing less than 1.6\% mortality per month. The results also indicated that an increase in the surface-to-volume ratio of the reactors might further improve their efficiency.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation