Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 23  2011 April p.  979-989
DOI:

Vermicomposting of different types of oil palm fibre waste using Eudrilus eugeniae: a comparative study

Author(s): NAHRUL HAYAWIN, Z. * ; ASTIMAR Abd Azi ** ; M HAKIMI Ibrahim ‡ ; WAN HASAMUDIN Wan Hassan ** ; H. P. S. Abdul Khalil *

Earthworms (Eudrilus eugeniae, the African Nightcrawler) were tested as inoculants in the vermicomposting process in relation to their capacity to compost the various types of oil palm biomass. The different types of oil palm biomass used were empty fruit bunches (EFB), oil palm fronds (OPF) and oil palm trunks (OPT). The oil palm biomass was composted and vermicomposted for 84 days under controlled conditions. In the study on the effects of earthworm digestibility towards the major lignocellulosic components (cellulose and lignin) of EFB in the vermireactors (EFB WORM), results showed a significant degradation rate of the cellulose. A similar trend was also observed for lignin degradation. Meanwhile, lower rates of the lignocellulosic degradation were observed for EFB, OPF and OPT in the control reactor (without earthworms). Vermicompost obtained showed an increase in heavy metal contents in EFB WORM, OPF WORM and OPT WORM, but the contents were still within the range of limits allowable. A significant decrease in C/N ratio and increases in total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total available phosporous and total potassium were recorded for EFB WORM over the control (EFB, OPF and OPT). EFB fibre was found to be the best oil palm fibre for vermicomposting as compared to OPT and OPF fibre.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* Division of Bio-resource, Paper and Coatings Technology, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
E-mail: nahrul.hayawin@mpob.gov.my

** Malaysian Palm Oil Board, P. O. Box 10620, 50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

‡ Division of Environmental Technology, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.


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