Recycling of Recalcitrant Solid Waste from Herbal Pharmaceutical Industry through Vermicomposting
International Journal of Environment Agriculture and Biotechnology
As per the estimates of World Health Organization (WHO) about 80% of world's population depends on plant and plant products for their primary healthcare. Recently the demand for herbal drugs has increased many folds at the global level, as these herbal medicines do not have any side effects and its cost effectiveness. Huge quantities of solid waste is generated during the production of decoction using roots, stems, nuts, barks, seeds, flowers and fruits. This solid waste is recalcitrant in
... e and the dried waste is very sharp and prickly in nature. Hence cannot be used as a fodder, like leguminous plants. At present, this solid waste is simply being disposed off on land. So it was envisaged to try vermicomposting of this solid waste using earthworm species of Eudrilus eugeniae, considering the high content of Volatile Solids of Total Solids to the tune of 81.78%, indicating its good degradable nature. Herbal solid waste depicted C/N ratio of 35.34 and the vermicompost had C/N ratio of 12.6. Volatile Solids reduction obtained is around 61.23% indicating good bioconversion of the waste. 18.6% moisture content further indicates good quality vermicompost production. Maturity of the compost was confirmed by microbial analysis and also by Scanning Electron Microscopy. Vermicompost prepared out of this herbal pharmaceutical solid waste depicted efficient porosity of 80.489% and water holding capacity of 87.5534%. Bulk density was around 0.9667 gm/cm 3 indicating its suitability for agricultural activity.