Earthworms Converting Milk Processing Industry Sludge into Biomanure

Satveer Singh1, Sartaj A. Bhat1, Jaswinder Singh2, Rajinder Kaur1, Adarsh P. Vig1, *
1 Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India
2 PG Department of Zoology, Khalsa College Amritsar, Amritsar, India

© 2017 Singh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India; Tel: 9417062796; E-mail:


Aims and Objectives:

The present study was conducted to utilize the Milk Processing Industry Sludge (MPIS) for the purpose of vermicomposting, in two sets of experiments viz. with earthworms (ME) and without earthworms (MW).

Methods and Materials:

Twenty young non-clitellated Eisenia fetida were released in each tray. The various parameters like growth, clitellum development, biomass, cocoon production and hatchlings of E. fetida were observed after every 15 days, during 90 days of vermicomposting.


The maximum growth and better responses were observed in ME25 mixtures of MPIS which was the minimum ratio of the waste to CD. The physico-chemical analysis (pH, EC, TKN, TOC, C/N ratio, TAP, TK, TNa) and heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb) were also done before and after vermicomposting process. There was a significant increase in TKN (23-46%), and TAP (39-47%), and a decrease in pH (6.2-6.8%), EC (24.6-37.2%), TOC (16.8-37.9%), C/N ratio (23.8-97.9%), TK (26.6-40.6%), and TNa (31.3-53%) and heavy metals (Cr 30.9-40.6%, Cu 32.7-44.6%, Mn 23.9-36.3%, and Pb 32.6-42.9%) from initial to final feed mixtures with earthworms.


Thus the final vermicompost had excellent physico-chemical properties with all nutrients in plant available forms. The study further strengthens that the vermicomposting is an efficient technique in converting MPIS into nutrient rich biomanure in a short period of time i.e. 90 days.

Keywords: Growth, Vermiremediation, Solid industrial waste, Eisenia fetida, Heavy metals, Physico-chemical analysis.