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Stability and Kinetic Analysis during Vermicomposting of Sewage Sludge

Authors: Ashish Kumar Nayak, Dhamodharan K., Ajay S. Kalamdhad


The present study is aimed at alteration of sewage sludge into stable compost product using vermicomposting of sewage sludge mixed with cattle manure and saw dust in five different proportions based on C/N ratios (C/N 15 (R1), 20 (R2), 25 (R3) and 30 (R4); and control (R5)) by employing an epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida. Higher reductions in C/N ratio, CO2 evolution and OUR were observed in R4 demonstrated the compost stability. In addition, R4 proved to be best combination for the growth of the earthworms. In order to observe the optimal degradation, kinetics for degradation of organic matter in vermicomposting were quantitatively evaluated. An approach model was developed by assuming that composting process is carried out in a homogeneous way and the kinetics for decomposition reaction is represented by a Monod-type equation. The results exhibit comparable variations in the kinetic constants Km and K3 under varying parameters during vermicomposting process. Results suggested that higher R2 value in R4, enhanced suitability towards Lineweaver-Burke plot. R4 yields higher degradability coefficient (K) reveals that the occurrence of optimal nutrient balance, which not only enhanced the affinity of enzymes towards substrate but also improved its degradation process. Therefore, it can be proved that R4 provided to be the best feed combination for vermicomposting process as compared to other reactors.

Keywords: Stability, Sewage Sludge, Vermicomposting, c/n ratio, Eisenia fetida, Enzyme kinetics concept

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