Decomposition of Oil Palm Bio-Waste Using Microbes

Order of Publishing in Issue: 
6
Volume :8
Issue :1
January, 2014
Page No: 
45-54
Authors: 
Kalidas, P.* and Sravanthi, A.
Address: 
Directorate of Oil Palm Research (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) Pedavegi-534450, Andhra Pradesh, India

Abstract
Conversion of oil palm biowaste namely Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) and Mesocarp Fibre (MF) into good compost by using decomposing fungus Trichoderma viride was carried out in the experimental fields of the Directorate of Oil Palm Research, India. Three applications of T. viride fungus, in the form of broth as well as powder formulation with talc powder (Hydrated magnesium silicate) as carrier material, to oil palm Empty Fruit Bunches and Mesocarp Fibre materials resulted into fast decomposition compared to normal process. The weight gain of the treated material in the initial periods of the fungus application was mainly due to absorption of water. The fungus showed its action on decomposing the material after 15 days of application resulting in the decrease of weights. Six applications of Trichoderma viride fungus (three each on Empty Fruit Bunches and on Mesocarp Fibre) at monthly intervals achieved good decomposition of the cellulose material. In the first phase of decomposition the treated material were broken into small pieces and dried. In the second phase, the colour of the material changed from light brown to black. The material lost their physical structures within three months as compared to 6 months in general. Reinoculation studies carried out using the decomposed material confirmed the results. Since the fungus Trichoderma viride has compatibility with other bioagents like Metarhizium anisopliae which causes green muscardine disease to Rhinoceros beetle, application of commercial formulations to the breeding sites enhances the decomposition of the material, thus makes faster and complete decomposition apart from controlling the rhinoceros beetle and other dreaded disease causing fungi Ganoderma spp. As the bioagents are environmental friendly and ecologically safe, their use for decomposition is advocated.

Keywords: 
Oil palm, Biowaste, Empty Fruit Bunches, Mesocarp Fibre, Trichoderma viride.
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