N. Elakiya K. Arulmozhiselvan


Growing media used in soilless culture systems are those solid substrates, which alone or in mixtures can guarantee better plant growth conditions similar to agricultural soil in one or many aspects. This study was aimed to characterize lignocellulosic organic substances predominant in most available and effective organic substrates viz., coir pith and dhaincha (Sesbania aculeata) powder and compost maturity in vermicompost based on the presence of functional groups by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. The dominant downward peaks noted at 3300-3500 cm-1 in coir pith and dhaincha indicate vibration of hydroxyl (OH­-) stretch in cellulose structure and presence of alcohols and phenols. Peaks at 2925-2850 cm-1 found prominently in coirpith would be indicative of vibration of C-H bonds showing aliphatic degradation of cellulose, hemicelluloses, lipids, fats, etc. Particularly in dhaincha, vibration at 1733.32 cm-1 would be due to C=O stretch associated with an unconjugated ketone, carbonyl and ester groups. In vermicompost, peak value around 1549.85 cm-1 indicates C=C aromatic structure formed during mineralization of protein, cellulose, and hemicelluloses showing compost maturity. In the present study, FT-IR analysis of
organic lignocellulosic substrates confirmed the occurrence of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose, which are the main characteristics of natural fibers with high water holding and cation exchange capacity. Presence of alcoholic and carboxylic groups indicated stages of compost maturity and stability. Therefore, these renewable and environmentally sustainable lignocellulosic organic materials could be recognized as ideal soilless substrates for preparing grow media for containerized crop production and also recycling organic wastes in an environmentally friendly manner.



Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Coir pith, Dhaincha, FT-IR, Growing media, Vermicompost

Ahmad, I., Ahmad, A., Ahmad, S., Amjad, A., Saleem, M. & Akram, A. (2012). Effect of various agricultural substrates on biometric and qualitative characteristics of Ruscus hypophyllum. International Journal of Agriculture Biology, 14 (1), 116-120.
Ali, I., Asim,M. & Khan,T.A. (2012). Low cost adsorbents for the removal of organic pollutants from wastewater. Journal of Environmental Management,113, 170 DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.08.028.
Amir, S., Jouraiphy, A., Meddich, A., El Gharous, M., Winterton, P. & Hafidi, M. (2010). Structural study of humic acids during composting of activated sludge-green waste: elemental analysis, FTIR and 13CNMR. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 177, 524–529.
Ammar, M., Khiari, R., Berrima, B., Belgacem, M.N. &Elaloui,E. (2014). Isolation and characterization of lignin from Stipa tenacissima L. and Phoenix dactylifera. Cellulose Chemistry and Technology, 48, 255.
Anirudhan, T.S., & Unnithan, M.R., (2007), Arsenic (V) removal from aqueous solutions using an anion exchanger from coconut coir pith and its recovery. Chemosphere, 66, 60-66.
Atiyeh, R.M., Dominguez, J., Subler,S. & Edwards, C.A. (2000). Changes in biochemical properties of cow manure processed by earthworms (Eisenia andrei) and their effects on plant-growth. Pedobiology, 44, 709-724.
Barrett, G.E., Alexander, P.D., Robinson, J.S. & Bragg, N.C. (2016). Achieving environmentally sustainable growing media for soilless plant cultivation systems – A review. Scientia Horticulturae, 212, 220–234. DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2016.09.030.
Bhat, S.A., Jaswinder Singh & Adarsh Pal Vig (2017). Instrumental characterization of organic wastes for evaluation of vermicompost maturity. Journal of Analytical Science and Technology, 8, 2. DOI: 10.1186/s40543-017-0112-2.
Boeriu, C.G., Bravo, D., Goselink, R. J. A. & Van Dam, J. E. G. (2004). Characterization of structure-dependent functional properties of lignin with infrared spectroscopy. Industrial Crops and Products, 20(2), 205–218. DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2004.04.022.
Carrasquero-Duran, A. & Flores, I. (2009). Evaluation of lead (II) immobilization by a vermicompost using adsorption isotherms and IR spectroscopy. Bioresource
Technology, 100(4), 1691-1694. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortec h.20 08.09.013.
Coir Board, India International Coir Fair (IICF). (2016). Coir pith wealth from waste – A reference, Coir Board, Kerala, Ministry of MSME, Government of India. p. 24. www.coirboard.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Coir-Pith.pdf 
Contreras-Ramos, S.M., Alvarez-Bernal, D., Trujillo-Tapia, N. & Dendooven, L. (2004). Composting of tannery effluent with cow manure and wheat straw. Bioresource Technology, 94(2), 223-228. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.20 03.12.001.
Cuetos, M.J., Gomez, X., Otero, M. &Moran.,A. (2010). Anaerobic digestion of solid slaughterhouse waste: study of biological stabilization by Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy and thermo gravimetry combined with mass spectroscopy. Biodegradation, 21, 543-556.
Davila-Rodriguez, J. L., Escobar-Barrios, V. A., Shirai, K. & Rangel-Mendez, J. R.(2009). Synthesis of a chitin-based biocomposite for water treatment: Optimization for fluoride removal. Journal of Fluorine Chemistry,130(8), 718–726. DOI:10.1016/j.jfluchem.2009.05.012. 
Faix, O. (1991). Classification of lignins from different botanical origins by FTIR spectroscopy. Holzforschung, 45 (Suppl.), 21–27.
Ganguly, R.K. & Chakraborty, S.K. (2019). Assessment of qualitative enrichment of organic paper mill wastes through vermicomposting: humification factor and time of maturity. Heliyon, 5(5), e01638. DOI: 10.1016/j.hel iyon.2019.e01638.
Gruda, N., Savvas, D., Colla, G. & Rouphael, Y. (2018) Impacts of genetic material and current technologies on product quality of selected greenhouse vegetables – A review. European Journal of Horticultural Science, 83(5), 319–328. DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2018/83.5.5.
Gruda, N., Gianquinto, G., Tüzel, Y., & Savvas, D. (2016a). Culture soil-less In: Encyclopedia of Soil Sciences, 3rd edn., R. Lal., ed. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 533–537. DOI: 10.1081/E-ESS3-120053777.
Gruda, N., Caron, J., Prasad, M. & Maher, M.J. (2016b). Growing media. In Encyclopedia of Soil Sciences, 3rd edn., R. Lal., ed. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 1053–1058. DOI: 10.1081/E-ESS3-120053784.
Gruda, N.,Qaryouti, M.M. &Leonardi, C. (2013). Growing media In: Good Agricultural Practices for Greenhouse Vegetable Crops – Principles for Mediterranean Climate Areas. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy. Plant Production and Protection Paper,217, 271–302.
Gruda, N. (2012). Current and future perspective of growing media in Europe. Acta Horticulturae, 960, 37–43. DOI: 10.17660/ ActaHortic.2012.960.3.
Huag, G. F., Wu, Q.T., Wong, J. W.C. &Nagar, B. B.(2006). Transformation of organic matter during composting of pig manure with saw dust. Bioresource Technology, 97, 1834-1842.
Hussain, N., Abbasi, T. & Abbasi, S.A. (2016). Transformation of the pernicious and toxic weed parthenium into an organic fertilizer by vermicomposting. International Journal of Environmental Studies,73, 731–745.
Jahan, M.S. & Mun, S. P.(2009). Studies on the macromolecular components of nonwood available in Bangladesh. Industrial Crops and Products, 30, 344–350.
Laili, Z., Omar, M., Yasir, M. S., Ibrahim, M.Z., Yahaya, M.Y. & Murshidi, J.A. (2010). Instrumental characterization of coir pith ByXRD, FTIR and SEM after radium adsorption from aqueous solution under the presence of humic acids. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1202, 193. DOI: 10.1063/1.3295597.
Lazim, Z.M., Tony Hadibarata, Mohd Hafiz Puteh & Zulkifli Yusop. (2015). Adsorption Characteristics of Bisphenol A onto Low-Cost Modified Phyto-Waste Material in Aqueous Solution. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 226, 34. DOI: 10.1007/s11270-015-2318-5.
Ndegwa, P.M. &Thompson, S.A. (2000). Effects of C-to-N ratio on vermicomposting of biosolids. Bioresource Technology, 75, 7-12.
Noguera, P., Abad, M., Noguera, V., Puchades, R. &Maquieira, A. (2000). Coconut coir waste, a new and viable ecologically-friendly peat substitute. Acta Horticulturae, 517, 279-286.
Pandey, K. & Pitman, A. (2003). FTIR studies of the changes in wood chemistry following decay by brown-rot and white-rot fungi. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 52(3),151–160. DOI: 10.1016/s0964-830 5(03)00052-0. 
Papadopoulos, A. P., Bar-Tal, A., Silber, A., Saha, U. K. &Raviv, M. (2008). In “Soilless Culture: Theory and Practice”, edited by M. Raviv and J. H. Lieth, Academic
Press, San Diego, USA, 505. https://www.elsevier.com/books/soilless-culturetheory-and-practice/raviv/978-0-444-52975-6.
Rout, P.P.& Arulmozhiselvan, K.(2019). Investigating the suitability of pressmud and coir pith for use as soilless substrate by SEM, XRF, UV-VIS and FTIR spectroscopy techniques. Cellulose Chemistry and Technology, 53(5-6), 599-607.
Ravindran, B., Sravani, R., Mandal, A.B., Contreras-Ramos, S.M. & Sekaran, G. (2013). Instrumental evidence for biodegradation of tannery waste during vermicomposting process using Eudrilus eugeniae. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 111, 1675–84.
Ravindran, B., Dinesh, S. L., John Kennedy, L. & Sekaran, G. (2008). Vermicomposting of solid waste generated from leather industries using epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 151(2-3), 480-484.DOI:10.1007/s12010-008-8222-3.
Raviv, M. (2013). Composts in growing media: what’s new and what’s next? Acta Horticulturae, 982, 39–52. DOI: 10.17660/actahortic.2013.982.3.
Reghuvaran, A. & Ravindranath, A.D. (2014). Use of coir pith compost as an effective cultivating media for ornamental, medicinal and vegetable plants. International Journal of Biology, Pharmacy and Allied Sciences,3, 88 – 97.
Saberikhah, E., Mohammadi-Rovshandeh, J. & Mamaghani, M. (2013). Spectroscopic comparison of organosolvlignins isolated from wheat straw. Cellulose Chemistry and Technology, 47, 410.
Savvas, D. & Gruda, N.(2018). Application of soilless culture technologies in the modern greenhouse industry – A review. European Journal of Horticultural Science, 83(5), 280–293.DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2018/83.5.2.
Savvas, D. (2003). Hydroponics: A modern technology supporting the application of integrated crop management in greenhouse. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment,1,80–86.
Schmilewski., G. (2009). Growing medium constituents used in the EU. Acta Horticulturae, 819, 33.DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.819.3.
Simkovic, I., Dlapa, P.,Doerr, S.H., Mataix-Sol-Era,J. &Sasinkova, V. (2008). Thermal destruction of soil water repellency and associated changes to soil organic matters as observed by FTIR spectroscopy. Catena, 74(3),205-211. DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2008.03.003.
Tripetchkul, S., Pundee, K., Koonsrisuk, S. & Akeprathumchai, S. (2012). Co-composting of coir pith and cow manure: initial C/N ratio vs physico-chemical changes. International Journal of recycling organic waste in agriculture,1(1), 15. DOI: 10.1186/2251-7715-1-15.
Vaughn, S.F., Deppe, N.A., Palmquist, D.E. &Berhow, M.A. (2011). Extracted sweet corn tassels as a renewable alternative to peat in greenhouse substrates. Industrial crops and products, 33(2), 514–517. DOI:10.1016/j.indcr op.2010.10.034.
Citation Format
How to Cite
Elakiya, N. ., & Arulmozhiselvan, K. . (2021). Characterization of substrates of growing media by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy for containerized crop production . Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 13(SI), 35 - 42. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v13iSI.2774
More Citation Formats:
Research Articles