BIOCONCENTRATION OF HEAVY METALS IN VERMICOMPOSTING EARTHWORMS (Eisenia fetida, Perionyx excavatus and Lampito mauritii) IN NEPAL

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April – May, 2014, vol. 3, no. 5
pages: 416-418
Article type: Biotechnology of Biotechnology
Abstract: Vermicomposting of organic waste can play an important part during the waste management process in larger cities such as Kathmandu where 70% of the waste generated is organic. In this study, the possibility of heavy metal (Pb, Cd, Cu and Cr) bioaccumulation by three different species of earthworms Eisenia fetida, Lampito mauritii and Perionyx excavatus in domestic waste vermicompost was investigated. Quantification of heavy metals by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy(AAS) in final vermicompost showed a significant reduction in concentration of metals, Pb (11.4-26.0%), Cd (48-61%), Cu (4.9- 29.01%) and Cr (18.90-33.60%) at the end. Bioaccumulation of heavy metal in the composting earthworms was also recorded. Comparison of the three groups of earthworms showed that the bioaccumulation of Pb, Cu and Cr was greater for P. excavatus whereas E. fetida was the most reluctant. Heavy metal content in the vermicompost was within the limit of USEPA for Biosolids and the compost could be used for the agriculture purpose.
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