Agrowaste residues are made up of cellulosic and hemicellulosic materials. These cellulosic wastes are ideal for the growth of microorganisms which in turn convert the wastes to organic manures. Biodegradation potential of two fungal species isolated from soils of Artemisia annua Plantation was investigated. The two fungal strains were selected from a preliminary test carried out on fungal isolates using Carboxymethylcellulose agar plates. Congo red test was performed and Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma viride showed highest hydrolytic zones and were used for the biodegradation of the A. annua agrowaste. Biodegradation of the agrowaste lasted for 7 and 14 days. The percentage weight loss for pulverized agrowaste obtained for T. viride was 27 and 21% after the 7th and 14th day of degradation while for A. niger it was 32 and 24%. The percentage weight loss for non-pulverized agrowaste obtained for T. viride was 34 and 22% after 7th and 14th day degradation process while the figures obtained for A. niger was 36 and 30% respectively. The enzyme produced and its activity was determined under different process parameters including effects of different concentration of Carboxymethylcellulose powder, incubation period, temperature and pH. The reduction of the A. annua waste into powder (pulverization) gave better results as it helped in high conversion yields obtained as against the non-pulverized material.
Biodegradation, Solid state processes, Artemisia annua, agrowaste, Carboxymethylcellulose.