Vermiculture Technology

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Vermiculture Technology:

Vermiculture Technology PRESENTED BY: KASHIKA DOHROO


INTRODUCTION Vermiculture is a process of composting using worms. Castings or worm manure is the end product of the process in which worms break down organic materials. The end product is a nutrient-rich fertilizer. The process of setting up a home vermiculture system usually begins with about 200 worms. In addition to small home composting using worm, large commercial operations compost everything from sewer sludge to livestock manure using vermiculture technology. Red wigglers, also known as Eisenia fetida , are the most common worms used in vermiculture .

Technologies for Sustainable Development by Use of Earthworms :

Technologies for Sustainable Development by Use of Earthworms Following technologies for sustainable development with environmental protection can be envisaged by the use of useful earthworms species which promises to provide cheaper solutions to several social, economic, environmental & health problems plaguing the human society 1) “THE VERMI-COMPOSTING TECHNOLOGY” for efficient management of municipal & industrial solid wastes (organics) by biodegradation & stabilization and converting them into useful resource ( vermicompostnutritive biofertilizer ); 2) “THE VERMI-FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY” for treatment of municipal and some industrial wastewater, their purification & disinfection for reuse; 3) “THE VERMI-REMEDIATION TECHNOLOGY” for cleaning up chemically contaminated sites (lands) while also improving their physical , chemical and biologicalproperties for reuse;

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THE VERMI-AGRO-PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY” for restoring & improving soil fertility to produce safe and chemical-free food for the society by the use of vermicompost & without recourse to the destructive agro-chemicals; 5) “THE VERMI INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY” for use of earthworms to produce some “bioactive compounds” for pharmaceutical industries and valuable raw materials to be used in rubber, lubricant, soaps, detergent & cosmetics industries and use of rich worm proteins as feed materials to promote fishery, dairy & poultry industries to produce more nutritive foods for the society .

Mechanism of Worm Action in Vermicomposting:

Mechanism of Worm Action in Vermicomposting Earthworms act as an aerator, grinder, crusher, chemical degrader and a biological stimulator and degrade waste by multiple actions. 1 Grinding action The waste feed materials ingested is finely ground (with the aid of stones in their muscular gizzard) into small particles to a size of 2-4 microns and passed on to the intestine for enzymatic actions. The gizzard and the intestine work as “bioreactor”; 2) Enzymatic action The gizzard and the intestine work as a “ bioreactor”.Worms secrete enzymes proteases, lipases, amylases, cellulases and chitinases in their gizzard and intestine which bring about rapid biochemical conversion of the cellulosic and the proteinaceous materials in the waste organics. They ingest the food materials, cull the harmfu microorganisms, and deposit them mixed with minerals and beneficial microbes as “ vermicasts ” in the soil

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3) Worms Reinforce Decomposer Microbes & Act Synergistically Worms promotes the growth of “beneficial decomposer microbes” (bacteria, actinomycetes & fungi) in waste biomass They hosts millions of decomposer microbes in their gut which is described as “little bacterial factory”. They devour on microbes and excrete them out (many times more in number than they ingest) in soil along with nutrients nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in their excreta. The nutrients N and P are further used by the microbes for multiplication and vigorous action [30]. Reference showed that the number of bacteria and“actinomycetes ” contained in the ingested material increased up to 1000 fold while passing through the gut. A population of worms numbering about 15,000 will in turn foster a microbial population of billions of millions. Earthworms and microbes act “symbiotically & synergistically” to accelerate and enhance the decomposition of the organic matter in the waste. It is the microorganisms that break down the cellulose in the food waste, grass clippings and the leaves from garden wastes 4) Humification The final process in vermi -processing and degradation of organic matter is the “ humification ” in which the large organic particles are converted into a complex amorphous colloi containin “ phenolic ” materials. About one-fourth of the organic matter is converted into humus Humus is essential in soil for plant growth & survival. It takes several years in conventionally produced compost to generate “humus” through slow disintegration,whereas,earthworms excrete “humus” in its compost

Advantages of Vermicomposting Technology :

Advantages of Vermicomposting Technology 1) Salvage Human Wastes & Divert Huge MSW from Landfills A big advantage of great economic & environmental significance is that production of vermicompost from “organic wastes” divert huge amount of MSW from ending up in the landfills thus also saving cost on waste disposal and reducing discharge of toxic leachate and gases and emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) which occurs from waste landfills. Rapid and Efficient Process & Takes Half the Time than the Conventional System Earthworms have the real potential to accelerate and enhance the natural biodegradation and decomposition of organic materials from 60 to 80% by promoting the growth of “beneficial decomposer aerobic bacteria” in the waste biomass. They hosts millions of decomposer microbes in their gut and also act as an aerator, grinder, crusher, chemical degrader and a biological stimulator.

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Earthworms Disinfect, Detoxify and Add Value to the End Products Vermicomposting excels all conventional composting systems by the fact that it can utilize organics that otherwise cannot be utilized by others and achieves greater utilization” than the rate of “destruction” achieved by others and also involves about 100-1000 times higher value addition” than other technologies. No or Low Energy Use in Vermi -composting Process Normal microbial composting requires energy for aeration (constant turning of waste biomass and even for mechanical airflow) and sometimes for mechanical crushing of waste to achieve uniform particle size.Vermi -composting does not involve such use of energy. Generate No or Low Odor Earthworms create aerobic conditions in the waste materials by their burrowing actions, inhibiting the action of anaerobic micro-organisms which release foulsmelling hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans .

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