Engineering HDR Seminar Series 2, 2012: The Potential Reuse of Solid Wastes from Palm Oil Mill (Empty Fruit Bunches and Palm Press Fibre) Through Vermicomposting

Ms Lim Pei Nie, CSPE postgraduate student

Date: 2012-02-13
Time: 14:00 to 15:00
Venue: Engineering meeting room 1, 5-4-22


Oil palm plantations generate a large quantity of by-product, such as empty fruit bunches and palm press fibre. These by-products are relatively hard to be decomposed in nature local condition. Hence, managing of palm oil solid wastes in a sustainable way is one of the challenges faced in Malaysia. One of the sustainable methods that could be used to transform palm oil solid wastes into value added product is vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is a stabilization process of organic materials (usually wastes) through the joint action of earthworms and microorganisms. The on-going research shows that vermicomposting of these by- product would be able to provide some useful nutrients for crop growth. In the present study, palm oil solid wastes (empty fruit bunches and palm press fibre) were vermicomposted in 112 days using earthworm species Eudrilus eugeniae. The growth of earthworm, electrical conductivity, pH, moisture content and available nutrients (TKN, TC, Ca, K, Mg, P) were studied in the preliminary stage. The proposed research will involve the study of enzymatic assay (dehydrogenase, β- glucosidase, phosphatase, protease, urease and cellulase), humic and fulvic acids in the vermicomposts as well as plant growth study on corn (Zea Mays L.) and marigold (Tagetes erecta).


About the Speaker

Lim Pei Nie graduated as Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering with Honors) from Monash University Sunway Campus in 2010. She joined Monash University in 2011 for postgraduate studies under the supervision of Dr. Wu Ta Yeong and Dr. Charles Clarke. Her research focus is on biotransformation of palm oil solid wastes (empty fruit bunches and palm press fibre) into valuable product, namely vermicompost The present study provides a sound basis to demonstrate that vermicomposting can be regarded as a green technology to convert empty fruit bunches and palm press fibre into organic fertilizer.