Title: Use of earthworms (Eisenia fetida) and vermicompost in the processing and safe management of hazardous solid and liquid wastes with high metal contents

Authors: Lue Meru Marco Parra, Cristina Vazquez, Luisa M. Macchi H, Cynthia Urdaneta, Jorge Amaya, Jesus Arroyo Cortez, Saida Matute

Addresses: Departamento Quimica y Suelos, Unidad de Analisis Instrumental, Decanato de Agronomia, Universidad Centro Occidental Lisandro Alvarado, Tarabana, Cabudare 3023, Venezuela. ' Facultad de Ingenieria, Laboratorio de Quimica de Sistemas Heterogeneos, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Av. P. Colon 850 (C1063ACV), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Gerencia Quimica, Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, Av. Gral Paz 1499 (B1650KNA), San Martin, Buenos Aires, Argentina. ' Departamento de Ingenieria Quimica, Universidad Nacional Experimental Politecnica, Barquisimeto 3022, Venezuela. ' Departamento de Ingenieria Quimica, Universidad Nacional Experimental Politecnica, Barquisimeto 3022, Venezuela. ' Departamento de Ingenieria Quimica, Universidad Nacional Experimental Politecnica, Barquisimeto 3022, Venezuela. ' Decanato de Ingenieria Civil, Universidad Centro Occidental Lisandro Alvarado, Barquisimeto 3022, Venezuela. ' Departamento Quimica y Suelos, Unidad de Analisis Instrumental, Decanato de Agronomia, Universidad Centro Occidental Lisandro Alvarado, Tarabana, Cabudare 3023, Venezuela

Abstract: Two feasibility studies using the earthworm (Eisenia fetida) and vermicompost in the processing and remediation of solid and liquid wastes with high metal content are presented: vermicompost as adsorbent substrate for remediation of wastewaters contaminated with metals; earthworms for remediation of arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) in landfill soils. The feasibility of vermicompost for the remediation of nickel (Ni), chromium (Cr), vanadium (V) and lead (Pb) in wastewater is demonstrated. The earthworm (Eisenia fetida) allows the removal of As and Hg from landfill soils with an efficiency of 42-72% in 15 days for As and 7.5-30.2% for Hg.

Keywords: vermicomposting; remediation; landfill soils; Eisenia fetida; wastewater treatment; earthworms; solid waste; liquid waste; high metal content; adsorbent substrate; heavy metals; arsenic; mercury; nickel; chromium; vanadium; lead; hazardous waste; waste management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2010.037267

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2010 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.214 - 224

Published online: 01 Dec 2010 *

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