Role of bulking agents, process optimization, and different earthworm species in the vermiremediation process of industrial wastes: A review
Keywords:abiotic factors, bulking agents, earthworms, industrial wastes, vermicomposting
Rapid industrialization and consumerism have aggravated the generation of industrial waste globally, consequently posing a serious problem related to their treatment, disposal, and management. Industrial wastes or sludges are mainly characterised by undesirable levels of heavy metals, toxic chemicals, and other toxic organic compounds. Deposition of such wastes in the environmental matrices for prolonged periods may result in serious contamination, and the consequent accumulation of these harmful constituents in the ecological food chain. Unavailability of appropriate disposal mechanisms for these sludges is a matter of serious concern that could severely pollute the environment and risk human health. Vermicomposting has emerged as a feasible and environmentally friendly bioremediation technology that could provide a solution to this problem. However, the vermicomposting of industrial sludges requires a better understanding of its inextricable factors to make it a viable process. Thus, the present study was undertaken to provide insights on the influence of different bulking agents and abiotic factors on the vermicomposting process, as well as, the role of different earthworm species in the successful implementation of this process in the bioremediation of industrial waste.
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