Abstract

Recently, it has been suggested that the liquid fraction of anaerobic digestate, derived from the treatment of wastewater and solid wastes, could be used in vermicomposting as a solution to its disposal, and even for its valorization. Nevertheless, the literature does not provide enough information about its impact on the process of vermicomposting itself and on the final quality of the end-product. In this study, the effect of different doses of digestate in the vermicomposting process treating market waste is assessed measuring earthworm population dynamics, the bacterial community succession present in the vermibeds, as well as maturation and the end-quality of the vermicompost. Our results show that the addition of liquid digestate to the vermibeds increased the earthworms biomass, i.e. 71%, 94% and 168% in control, and vermibeds with 30% and 60% digestate, respectively. Further, the increase in the amount of N in the vermicompost decreased as the digestate addition increased, i.e. 75%, 8%, 3%. The maturity achieved was high in all treatments as shown by the C/N ratio, 7.98, 7.40 and 10.20, and the high seed germination rate, above 90%. Finally, the succession of the microbial community was not disturbed and compositional stabilization was reached after 92 days.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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