Abstract—Palm Oil mill Effluent (POME), a by-product of palm oil mills, is produced in large quantity in some West- African countries. Although it is a land and aquatic pollutant when discharged directly into the environment, it is amenable to biodegradation. Conversion of POME to organic fertilizer can be a sustainable strategy for its disposal only when its effects on soil microbial and biochemical properties are known. An experiment was conducted to establish the effect of 20 days fermented POME on soil chemical, microbial and biochemical properties in a humid soil under laboratory conditions. The soil received 0(control), 50 and 90 ml per 200 g soil (corresponding to 0 m3/ha, 30 m3/ha and 70 m3/ha, respectively). Available N, P, K and total N, electrical conductivity (EC), total organic carbon significantly increased in POME amended soil, especially at 40 and 60 days incubation periods. Similarly, soil microbial properties (soil microbial carbon, basal respiration and metabolic quotient) were also increased in the treated soil during the incubation period. Enzyme activities were equally increased on soil amended with fermented POME. However, there was no significant correlation between enzyme activities, microbial carbon and total nitrogen. But basal respiration positively influenced dehydrogenase and urease activities. These data confirmed that fermented POME material could enhance soil microbiological activities which ultimately increase soil fertility.
Index Terms—Organic-amendment, soil-biochemistry, fermentation, soil-nutrient and waste-management.
Dr. Chris. O Nwoko is with the Department of Environmental Technology, Federal University of Technology, PMB 1526. Owerri, Nigeria. Corresponding author. Obix04@yahoo.co.uk. Phone: +234-8037097613.
Prof. S. Ogunyemi is with the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, Univ ersity of Ibadan, Ibadan. Nigeria. (email@example.com)
Cite: Chris. O Nwoko and Sola Ogunyemi, "Effect of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) on Microbial Characteristics in a Humid Tropical Soil under Laboratory Conditions," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 307-314, 2010.