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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 31, pp 30998–31006 | Cite as

Influence of earthworms on the nitrogen transfer of sewage sludge in the vermifilter process

  • Jian Yang
  • Wanyin Di
  • Jing Liu
  • Meiyan Xing
Research Article
  • 77 Downloads

Abstract

A 6-year laboratory study was conducted to explore the performance of the vermifilter (VF) on reducing sewage sludge. Sewage sludge was found to be reduced significantly in the VF and exhibited a better performance of sludge reduction as compared with the conventional biofilter (BF), which could be traced through the nitrogen-rich organic matter. The nitrogen stable isotope technology was applied to study the matter flow of sewage sludge in the VF process and the influence of earthworms Eisenia fetida on sewage sludge reduction. Results showed that (1) the protein material could be consumed more than the polysaccharide and lipid materials, respectively, in the VF; (2) the presence of earthworms could enhance the consumption capacity of the VF on the protein-rich material of the sewage sludge; (3) earthworms played a leading role on the nitrogen lifting of the sewage sludge, leading to the performance difference of the effluent sludge or biofilm sludge between the VF and BF; (4) in the VF, nitrogen-isotope accumulation in either biofilms or earthworms happened more significantly in the lower layer than in the upper one, while nitrogen transfer of sewage sludge happened more significantly in the upper layer than in the lower one; (5) earthworms improved the feeding environment of organisms (microorganisms in biofilms, moth fly larvae, Limacidaes, and Lymnaeidaes); (6) biofilms, Limacidaes, and moth fly larvae performed better than leeches, Lymnaeidaes, and moth fly adults at nitrogen transfer of sewage sludge.

Keywords

Vermifilter Sewage sludge Biopolymeric carbon Stable isotope Nitrogen transfer Earthworm 

Abbreviations

VF

vermifilter

BF

conventional biofilter without earthworms

BPC

the biopolymeric carbon

LIP

the lipid part of BPC

PRT

the protein part of BPC

CHO

the carbohydrate part of BPC

IES

the influent sewage sludge

BFS

the effluent sludge of the BF

VFS

the effluent sludge of the VF

BF-B

the biofilm sludge of the BF

VF-B

the biofilm sludge of the VF

VF-C

the casts of earthworms in the VF

Notes

Funding

This study was funded by National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFC0400805) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51679168).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment, Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, College of Environmental Science and EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringShanghai Institute of TechnologyShanghaiChina

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