In Colombia, more than 1 million tons of coffee pulp are produced every year. Its transformation into compost by means of turned piles has led to a final product with poor physical and chemical characteristics and vermicomposting has been suggested as an alternative method of transforming these wastes into a useful organic fertilizer. The ability of the earthworm Eisenia fetida to transform coffee pulp into a valuable compost was evaluated. The influence of bed depth and time on different C fractions, N content and availability of nutrients was studied. The results showed that the C and N contents were not affected by the depth of the bed, whereas time affected both. An increase in the fractionation ratio, determined by calculating the C in the fraction smaller than 100 μm as a percentage of C in the samples as a whole, and low values of humic-like substances were recorded during vermicomposting. After ingestion of the pulp by the earthworms, an increase in available P, Ca, and Mg but a decrease in K were detected.
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Orozco, F.H., Cegarra, J., Trujillo, L.M. et al. Vermicomposting of coffee pulp using the earthworm Eisenia fetida: Effects on C and N contents and the availability of nutrients. Biol Fert Soils 22, 162–166 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00384449