Vermiculture and waste management: study of action of earthworms Elsinia foetida, Eudrilus euginae and Perionyx excavatus on biodegradation of some community wastes in India and Australia

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Title Vermiculture and waste management: study of action of earthworms Elsinia foetida, Eudrilus euginae and Perionyx excavatus on biodegradation of some community wastes in India and Australia
Author Sinha, Rajiv Kumar; Herat, Sunil; Agarwal, Sunita; Asadi, Ravi Kumar; Carretero, Emilio
Journal Name The Environmentalist
Year Published 2002
Place of publication Netherlands
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers
Abstract The practice of vermiculture is at least a century old but it is now being revived worldwide with diverse ecological objectives such as waste management, soil detoxification and regeneration and sustainable agriculture. Earthworms act in the soil as aerators, grinders, crushers, chemical degraders and biological stimulators. They secrete enzymes, proteases, lipases, amylases, cellulases and chitinases which bring about rapid biochemical conversion of the cellulosic and the proteinaceous materials in the variety of organic wastes which originate from homes, gardens, dairies and farms. The process is odour free because earthworms release coelomic fluids in the decaying waste biomass which has anti-bacterial properties which kills pathogens. The species used in India were Indian blue (Perionyx excavatus), African night crawler (Eudrilus euginae) and the Tiger worm (Elsinia foetida). E. foetida was used in Australia. E. euginae was found to have higher feeding, growth and biodegradation capacity compared to other two species. Earthworm action was shown to enhance natural biodegradation and decomposition of wastes (60–80 percent under optimum conditions), thus significantly reducing the composting time by several weeks. Within 5 to 6 weeks, 95–100 percent degradation of all cellulosic materials was achieved. Even hard fruit and egg shells and bones can be degraded, although these may take longer.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1016583929723
Copyright Statement Copyright 2002 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in The Environmentalist Volume 22, Number 3, 261-268. The Environmentalist is available online at: http://www.springerlink.com/ with the open URL of your article.
Volume 22
Issue Number 3
Page from 261
Page to 268
ISSN 0251-1088
Date Accessioned 2010-06-07
Date Available 2010-08-24T06:50:47Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Atmospheric Environment Research Centre
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject PRE2009-Cross discipline
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/32788
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1a

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