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Abstract

The effects of different volumetric ratios of bulking agents to pulp/paper-mill sludge on composting were studied. Rice husk and corncob were used as bulking agents. Volumetric ratios of bulking agents to pulp/paper-mill sludge were used as 10:100 and 25:100. To monitor the evolution of the composting systems, routine parameters such as temperature, moisture, pH, total N, NH4 +-N, NO3 --N, total C, and C/N ratio were analyzed. The results indicated that the agro-based materials significantly affected compost maturity parameters. Moreover, the quality of the product obtained in the composting process treated with the agro-based materials achieved satisfactory stabilization and sanitation for application to land.
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Abstract

Compounds present in oil sludge such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known to be cytotoxic, mutagenic and potentially carcinogenic. Microorganisms including bacteria and fungi have been reported to degrade oil sludge components to innocuous compounds such as carbon dioxide, water and salts. In the present study, we isolated different bacteria with PAH-degrading capabilities from compost prepared from oil sludge and animal manures. These bacteria were isolated on a mineral base medium and mineral salt agar plates. A total of 31 morphologically distinct isolates were carefully selected from 5 different compost treatments for identification using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the 16S rRNA gene with specific primers (universal forward 16S-P1 PCR and reverse 16S-P2 PCR). The amplicons were sequenced and sequences were compared with the known nucleotides from the GenBank. The phylogenetic analyses of the isolates showed that they belong to 3 different clades; Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. These bacteria identified were closely related to the genera Bacillus, Arthrobacter, Staphylococcus, Brevibacterium, Variovorax, Paenibacillus, Ralstonia and Geobacillus. The results showed that Bacillus species were predominant in all composts. Based on the results of the degradation of the PAHs in the composts and results of previous studies on bacterial degradation of hydrocarbons in oil, the characteristics of these bacterial isolates suggests that they may be responsible for the breakdown of PAHs of different molecular weights in the composts. Thus, they may be potentially useful for bioremediation of oil sludge during compost bioremediation.
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Abstract

This study is aimed at measuring the effect of pig, cow, horse and poultry manures on the degradation of selected Polycyclic Aromatics Hydrocarbons present in oil sludge. Four kilograms of soil amended with 1.2 kg of oil sludge was mixed with wood chips in a ratio of 1:2 (w:v) soil mixture: wood chips. The mixture was divided into fi ve parts and four parts were separately mixed with pig, cow, horse or poultry manures in a ratio of 2:1 (w:w) and the fi fth portion was used as the control with no manure added. All experiments were incubated for 10 months at room temperature. Compost piles were turned weekly for aeration and moisture level was maintained by adding deionised water enough to prevent the compost from getting dry. Moisture level, pH, temperature, CO2 evolution and oxygen consumption were measured monthly and the ash content of the compost at the end of experimentation. Highest temperature reached was 27.5°C in all compost heaps, pH ranged from 5.5 to 7.8 and CO2 evolution was highest in poultry manure at 18.78 μg/dwt/day. Microbial growth and activities were enhanced as indicated by increase in temperature, moisture level, pH value and respiration rate in all the compost piles. Bacteria capable of utilizing PAHs were isolated, purifi ed and characterized by molecular techniques using polymerase chain reaction with specifi c universal primers and the amplicons were sequenced. Bacteria identifi ed were Bacillus, Arthrobacter and Staphylococcus species. Percentage reduction in PAHs was measured using automated soxhlet extractor with Dichloromethane and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Results from PAH concentration measurements showed reduction of between 77% and 99%. Co- -composting of contaminated soil with animal manures enhanced the reduction in PAHs.
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Abstract

The focus of the study was on the dynamics of the variation in the population of copiotrophic and oligotrophic bacteria and actinobacteria as well as the level of acid and alkaline phosphatase activities taking place during pine bark composting, depending on the application of different organic admixtures and the Effective Microorganisms microbiological preparation as well as variation in pH values and temperature. Above all, the trend in the variation in the population of microorganisms under analysis and enzymatic activity depended on the type of admixture applied to the composted pine bark. Apart from that, the course of microbiological activity was also influenced by temperature variation, which resulted from the course of the composting process. The results obtained in the experiment proved that the admixture of PGM (plant green matter) to the composted prisms had stimulating influence on the microbiological indexes under analysis.
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Abstract

This study applied a modified OxiTop® system to determine the oxygen uptake rate during a 2-day respiration test of selected composting materials at different moisture contents, air-filled porosities and composition of composting mixtures. The modification of the OxiTop® respirometer included replacement and adjustment of a glass vessel (i.e. a 1.9-L glass vessel with wide mouth was used instead of a standard 1-L glass bottle, additionally the twist-off vessel lid was adjusted to attach the measuring head) and application of a closed steel mesh cylinder of 5 cm in diameter and 10 cm in height with the open surface area of the mesh of approximately 56.2%. This modification allowed obtaining different bulk densities (and thus air-porosities) of the investigated composting materials in laboratory composting studies. The test was performed for apple pomace and composting mixtures of apple pomace with wood chips at ratios of 1:0.5, 1:1, 1:1.5 (d.w), moisture contents of 60%, 65% and 75% and air-filled porosities ranging from 46% to 1%. Due to diverse biodegradability of the investigated apple pomace and composting mixtures this test allows for the determination of the effects of different air-porosities (due to compaction in a pile) on the oxygen uptake rate for mixtures with a fixed ratio of a bulking agent. The described method allows for laboratory determination of the effects of moisture content and compaction on biodegradation dynamics during composting.
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