Vermitechnology and its terms

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  • hajo
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Vermitechnology and its terms

Dear all,

As you may notice, Vermitechnology (VT) has been placed now as a sub-category under the ‘green’ Resource Recovery. Reason being that I feel that VT is not just a technology which aims at improving the sanitation situation per se, but with the focus on recovering resources from human excreta for the beneficial use in agriculture. (incoming comments by you may still change it again)

Because the terms of VT and its subsets are not very popular and well known yet and may even have to be agreed upon, I’ll try to propose some definitions here which we may use in future when discussing VT. I expect some comments and amendments from the forum and hope that in the end, we will have a useful agreement. I’ll try to refer to public sources in these definitions as the aim may be transferring these definitions to a Wikipedia article about VT.

Vermitechnology:
VT is the overarching term for all processes using worms converting organic waste from different sources (kitchen waste, municipal organic waste, agro-industrial waste, human excreta, …). The worms digest the waste and excrete it as nutritious worm cast which can be used as fertiliser and soil conditioner (Prof. Dr. Arvind Kumar, Verms & Vermitechnology , A.P.H. Publishing Corporation, New Delhi, ISBN 81-7648-938-7).

Vermifilter:

On Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermifilter ) vermifilters (VF) are described as biological reactors containing filter media separating organic solids from waste water. The media also provides a habitat for aerobic bacteria and composting earthworms that purify the wastewater by removing pathogens and oxygen demand. Vermifilters are used for primary, secondary and tertiary treatment of sewage and for agro-industrial wastewater, including blackwater and greywater in on-site systems and municipal wastewater in large centralised systems.
The primary VF is wide and flat allowing the worms to spread out the ‘food’ and not being choked by a thick layer. The secondary and tertiary VF are high and small in cross section to provide a long contact time between the trickling water and the microbes and worms improving the water quality and for good aeration of the media.

Vermidigester:
In above Wiki article vermidigester (VD) is used as a synonym for vermifilter. As primary and secondary VF have different designs and because the primary VF serves more the purpose of digesting the suspended solids by the worms while the secondary VF polishes the effluent by aeration and removal of dissolved solids, it is proposed that the ‘Primary VF’ also be called vermidigester for the easier distinction of the two different filters and main processes in them.

Vermicompost:
Vermicompost is well described in the respective Wikipedia article ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermicompost ) and mainly relates to decomposing of vegetable and food waste. Once vermicomposting is related to sewage and human excreta, this article calls the process vermifiltration or vermidigestion. It is proposed that we stick to that difference.

Vermiculture:
The same Wiki article above on vermicompost explains the term vermiculture as the rearing of worms for either composting or fishing purpose.

Looking forward to your comments and amendments,
Ciao
Hajo
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  • hajo
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Re: Vermitechnology and its terms

Dear all,

I noted that I forgot one very important aspect on the definition of vermitechnology :
Where the waste (especially human excreta) is transported by large amount of water (sewage, septage), VT does not only compost the solids but also improves the quality of the effluent. Therefore the definition of VT should be extended as follows:

Vermitechnology:
VT is the overarching term for all processes using worms converting organic waste from different sources (kitchen waste, municipal organic
waste, agro-industrial waste, human excreta, …). The worms digest the waste and excrete it as nutritious worm cast which can be used as fertiliser and soil conditioner (Prof. Dr. Arvind Kumar, Verms & Vermitechnology , A.P.H. Publishing Corporation, New Delhi, ISBN 81-7648-938-7).
Where organic waste (especially human excreta) is transported by large amount of water (sewage, septage), vermifiltration (as part of VT)makes this water free of pathogens and toxic chemicals, and worms also release nutrients into the water making it suitable for irrigation in parks and agriculture (Rajiv K. Sinha, Sunil Herat, Natchimuthu Karmegam, Krunal Chauhan, Vinod Chandran; Vermitechnology: A Review ; Global Science Books, p.31, para 3).

ciao
Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein
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  • HarryTams
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Re: Vermitechnology and its terms

Hello Hajo
A suggestion regarding the statement; " vermifiltration(as part of VT) makes this water free of pathogens and toxic chemicals"
I believe it may be safer to say that there is a reduction of pathogens and...
Cheers
Harry
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Re: Vermitechnology and its terms

Hello Harry,

Thanks for your comment, which I think is quite valid.

I had only quoted what the source says:

Vermifiltered wastewater is free of pathogens and toxic chemicals (heavy metals and endocrine disrupting chemicals).

Personally, I agree that it is possibly only a reduction. I don't know how far you can believe scientific sources (Elisabeth, can you comment on this aspect?). I know that researchers come to different or even contrary results. Which possibly also depends on the development of science. Some findings were not possible 10 years ago, but are now.

My intention is opening another topic under which we will discuss the aspect of reduction of pathogens and toxins by vermitechnology. Since you have raised the point, I'll try to open it as quickly as possible.

ciao
Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein
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Re: Vermitechnology and its terms

dear all,

I had proposed opening a new topic for reduction of pathogens and toxins by vermitechnology. But I noticed that we have a similar thread where in 2017 (mainly by Elisabeth and Dean) the removal of pathogens by VT , and what we know about it, was discussed. Before opening a new thread for a similar topic, I want referring us to that previous topic and possibly we can continue the discussion in that thread. I will possibly add a new post to that topic to revive the discussion.

ciao
Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Vermitechnology and its terms

Hi Hajo, 

thanks for this thread and laying out the different definitions with references.

Do you have time & energy to update the respective Wikipedia articles? I think that would be important because "Wikipedia is what the world reads!". So once that's updated you can refer people to that as an "authoritative" source. Just ensure that whatever you add or edit on Wikipedia is backed up with reliable sources. The concept of reliable sources is explained here in Wikipedia:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Reliable_sources

For now, I have created a disambiguation page for the term "vermitechnology" in Wikipedia as follows:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermitechnology

Vermitechnology is an overarching term for:

This can later be replaced with a more "overview type" article, which would then refer to the sub-articles on vermifiltration and vermicomposting.

Regards,
Elisabeth
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