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Vermicomposting of Food Waste: Assessing the Stability and Maturity

Author(s): Monireh Majlessi | Akbar Eslami | Hossein Najafi Saleh | Yadollah Mehrabi | Hamed Mohammadi | Simin Mirshafieean | Sara Babaii

Journal: Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering
ISSN 1735-1979

Volume: 9;
Issue: December;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Vermicomposting | Food waste | Stabilityindex | Maturityindex | Germination index

The vermicompost using earthworms (Eisenia Fetida) was produced from food waste and chemical parameters (EC, pH, carbon to nitrogen contents(C/N)) and germination bioassaywas examined in order to assess the stability and maturity indicators during the vermicomposting process. The seed used in the germination bioassay was cress.The ranges of EC,pH, C/N and germination index were 7.5-4.9 mS/cm, 5.6-7.53, 30.13-14.32% and 12.8- 58.4%, espectively. The germination index (GI) value revealed that vermicompost rendered as moderate phytotoxic to cress seed.Pearson correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the relationship between the parameters. High statistically significant correlation coefficient was calculated between the GI value and EC in the vermicompost at the 99% confidence level.The C/N value showed that the vermicompost was stable. As a result of these observations, stability test alone, was not able to ensure high vermicompost quality. Therefore, it appears that determining vermicompost quality requires a simultaneous use of maturity and stability tests.

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