Chemical study of vermicomposted agroindustrial wastes

Authors

1 Environmental Chemistry Laboratory-São Carlos Chemistry Institute, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, Brazil

2 Department of Soil Science and Land Resources Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

3 Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

4 Embrapa Pantanal, Corumbá, Brazil

Abstract

Purpose The disposal of solid waste is a serious environmental problem for humanity. Vermicomposting is used as one of the methods for recycling of organic waste, resulting in a humified material of great agronomic potential which promotes carbon sequestration when applied to the soil. The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemical characteristics of vermicomposts from cattle manure (CM), orange peel (OP) and filter cake (FC). Methods Three compost piles were set up, 2:1 OP ? CM, 3:1 FC ? CM and CM. The piles were initially composted for 60 days. Thereafter, earthworms were added to the piles to initiate the vermicomposting process. Results The pH and the organic carbon contents were above the minimum recommended values for organic fertilizers. The N content was below the minimum value but the C/N ratio was in the required range. The C/N values where lower in OP ? CM and FC ? CM than in CM. Further, the N contents of treatments were different with OP ? CM having the highest value. The C/N ratios of the piles were 9.52, 9.62 and 11.03 for OP ? CM, FC ? CM and CM, respectively, and were lower than the maximum recommended value by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (Ministry of Agriculture 2009). Conclusion Thus, co-vermicomposting of filter cake and orange peel with cattle manure has the potential for application sustainable agriculture

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