The main objective of this study is to investigate the
physicochemical changes of the co-composting Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) with
partially treated palm oil mill effluent (POME) in pilot scale. The partially
treated POME from anaerobic pond was sprayed onto the shredded EFB throughout
the treatment. The composting materials were turned over one to three
times per week for aeration. Temperature and oxygen were monitored at
different depths of the composting piles. Parameters such as C, N, pH,
nutrients, heavy metals and total bacteria count were also determined.
The temperature was increased up to 58.5Â°C at day three of treatment,
after that fluctuated between 50 to 62Â°C and then decreased in the
latter stage of the process. The pH of the system (7.75-8.10) did not
vary significantly during the treatment period while moisture content
was reduced from 65-75% to about 60% at the end of the treatment. The
initial C/N ratio of 45 was significantly reduced to 12 after 60 days
of composting. The final cured compost contained a considerable amount
of nutrients (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium,
sulfur and iron) and trace amounts of manganese, zinc, copper. In addition,
very low levels of heavy metals were detected in the compost. The number
of bacteria involved in the composting process was decreased at the end
of the composting period. The results obtained indicated that pilot scale
of co-composting EFB with partially treated POME gave acceptable quality
of compost and ease in operation. The compost product may useful in palm
oil plantation as fertilizer and soil amendment.
A.S. Baharuddin, M. Wakisaka, Y. Shirai, S. Abd-Aziz, N.A. Abdul Rahman and M.A. Hassan, 2009. Co-Composting of Empty Fruit Bunches and Partially Treated Palm Oil Mill Effluents in Pilot Scale. International Journal of Agricultural Research, 4: 69-78.