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Piñas

EFFECTIVENESS OF BOKASHI BALLS DETERMINED


BY THE DENSITY OF THE SOIL

An Experimental Research

Presented to

The Faculty of Senior High School Department

University of Perpetual Help System-DALTA

Las Piñas City

In Partial Fulfillment

Of the Requirements for the Subject

Practical Research 2: Quantitative

DE LEON, KARLO

GAMBOA, DANICA MARIE

GRANZO, DIOMEL

GUEVARRA, LANCE CHRISTIAN

IDURIA, CHRIS MICHAEL

MERCADO, JEAH

NARIO, MATTEW JAMES

TAN, ADRIAN DAIN RECIE

VITALES, JOYCE ANNE


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Chapter 1

THE STUDY AND ITS BACKGROUND

Introduction

The Earth is made up of almost 71% of water, and the Philippines alone is considered as

an archipelago. This means it is surrounded with different bodies of water. Citizens have this

tendency of throwing their garbage in the wrong places, and this leads to pollution. This will

surely have an effect on people. The garbages thrown in rivers could possibly block the

drainages and may cause flooding in a certain area. The oils spilled by vessels may kill fishes in

the sea and may cause scarcity. Prioritizing the cleanliness and protection of the environment is a

must, before it becomes too late.

As machines become modernized through time, different ways of saving the environment

also surfaced. One way is through EM Bokashi balls. Bokashi, in Japanese, means compost.

These balls are a great help in cleansing rivers or freshwater lakes, found not only in the

Philippines, but it is also adapted by different countries in the world. These balls are made up

mostly of soil, with the addition of EM or Effective Microorganisms, as well as other ingredients

like clay, ceramic powder, molasses and rock salt. These are environmentally-friendly and

doesn’t use many chemicals and they absorb pollution from the water.

Objective of the Study


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The study, ‘The Effectiveness of Bokashi Balls Determined by the Density of the Soil’

seeks to attain the following objectives:

 Identify the type of soil to be used for an effective Bokashi ball,

 Neutralize harmful substances in water with the help of a Bokashi ball

 Tell in what way density of the soil affects the effectiveness of a Bokashi ball, and

 Distinguish what other property of soil affects the effectiveness of bokashi balls.

Background of the Study

Bokashi balls were introduced to modern culture in 1982 by Dr. Teruo Higa. he first

developed a microbial starter culture that he would soon market as “EM-1” in which the EM

stands for Essential or Effective Microorganisms. The microbial process, which is dominantly

fermentation, is encouraged and accelerated through the addition of microbes, usually in the

form of bran powder or EM-inoculants. There is also evidence that EM inoculation to the soil

can improve the quality of soil, plant growth and yield (Kengo and Hui-lian, 2000). Now,

through innovation, bokashi balls were made in an attempt to clean bodies of water.

Combining a mixture of clay, ceramic powder, molasses and rock salt, it is then infused

with a mixture of microorganisms. It is then formed into large balls and is left to ferment for

several weeks until coated with a fuzzy white fungus. (Kannan, 2012)

Majority of the ingredients are made up of soil, so this study aims to determine whether

the density of the soil affects the effectiveness of the bokashi balls in cleaning wastewater.
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Conceptual Framework

INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT

Ingredients in making Experimentation using Determined

Bokashi balls. Bokashi balls each one effectiveness of the

varying in the kind of Bokashi balls to the

soil in wastewater. wastewater.

and Delimitation

Figure 1. Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework visualizes the input, process and output of the study. As an

input, there are the ingredients to make the Bokashi balls. The process, which is exprementing

the Bokashi balls varying in soil density, in the collected wastewater. Lastly, for the output, the

researcher will be able to determine the effectiveness of the Bokashi balls.

Statement of the Problem

This study seeks to answer the following questions:

1. What type of soil can be best used for Bokashi balls when it comes to effectiveness?

2. Does the density of the soil affect the fermentation in the Bokashi balls?
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3. What property of soil, other than density, affects the effectiveness of Bokashi balls?

Hypotheses

Null Hypothesis

The researchers hypothesize that the soil’s bulk density will not affect the effectiveness of

the Bokashi balls. This is because the Bokashi balls’ efficiency will rely solely on its ingredients.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will redound to the benefit of communities, animals, and for

the future researchers.

Students

The study helps the students; especially Senior High School students, to know what kind of soil

may be best used for the Bokashi Balls, and would be more effective in the cleansing of polluted

waters.

Communities

The study will help communities contribute in saving their rivers and lakes, thus

sustaining a well running livelihood such as fishing. It also will help keep citizens safe from the

toxicity of the polluted water.

Animals

Animals will surely be the ones who will benefit from this study. Having clean rivers and lakes

provide animals clean water, whether be it for habitat or ingestion.

Future Researchers
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In conducting this study, it will help the other possible researchers that would find this study

interesting. This would be a good reference and good foundation for their study.

Scope and Limitations

The study aims to identify the most suitable soil for the bokashi balls and see if the

density of the soil affects the fermentation of the balls. The study will only have three (3) sources

of soils for the experiment of the bokashi balls. The researchers decided to conduct the study on

the said university in order to be more specific and convenient.

Definition of Terms

CONCEPTUAL OPERATIONAL
Bokashi came from a Japanese Mixture of clay, ceramic powder,

Bokashi Balls word meaning “fermented organic brown sugar or molasses infused

matter” with a mixture of microorganisms

formed into balls the size of a fist.

It is the hard outer layers of cereal It consists of the combined

Bran grain aleurone and pericarp. Along with

germ, it is an integral part of

whole grains, and is often

produced as a byproduct of

milling in the production of

refined grains
Effective Microorganisms are the Effective Microorganisms are
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EM main ingredient of Bokashi balls. mixed cultures of beneficial

naturally-occurring organisms that

can be applied as inoculants to

increase the microbial diversity of

soil ecosystem.

Fermentation The process in which the Bokashi The chemical breakdown of a

balls’ ingredients are reacting substance by bacteria, yeasts, or

chemically. other microorganisms, typically

involving effervescence and the

giving off of heat.

The amount of soil has to its It is a measurement that compares

Density volume. the amount of matter an object has

to its volume.
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CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

This chapter includes related literature and studies which aids the researchers to further

understand and achieve the goals of the study.

Related Literature

Water Pollution

Water plays an important role in the earth’s economy. It covers 71% of it’s surface and is

used by everyone, as it is one of the needs of an individual. Oceans, rivers, lakes, etc., also serve

as a nest of different aquatic plants and animals. There is a problem that affects millions of

people around the world, and that is the pollution of water.

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers

and groundwater). Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly

into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water pollution

affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. In almost all cases the effect is

damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological

communities. An understanding of the behavior and fate of chemicals, which are discharged to

the aquatic environment as a result of these activities, is essential to the control of water

pollution. Water pollution is a serious problem and impacts negatively on the sustainability of
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water resources. It reduces total water availability considerably as the cost of treating polluted

waters is too high and in some instances, polluted waters are not treatable for consumption. (Fie,

2013)

Water pollution is a major problem in the Philippines. According to Water Environment

Partnership in Asia (WEPA), 32 percent of the Philippines’ land mass — approximately 96,000

square kilometers — is used for agriculture. The primary crops are palay (rice), corn, sugar cane,

fruit, root crops, vegetables and trees (for rubber). Increased population, urbanization, agriculture

and industrialization have all reduced the quality of water in the Philippines. (Marrone, 2016)

According to WEPA, water pollution’s effects cost the Philippines approximately $1.3

billion annually. The government continues to try to clean up the problem, implementing fines to

polluters as well as environmental taxes, but many problems have not been addressed. According

to government monitoring data, up to 58 percent of the groundwater tested was contaminated

with coliform, and approximately one third of illnesses monitored during a five-year period were

caused by water-borne sources. In addition to this, during the dry season, many areas experience

water shortages. (Marrone, 2016)

One cause of pollution is the waste water produced by households that contains textiles,

chemicals, etc. The water carries harmful bacteria that can cause serious health problems for

people living near the body of water. Microorganisms in water are known to be causes of some

very deadly diseases and become the breeding grounds for other creatures that act like carriers.

These carriers inflict these diseases via various forms of contact onto an individual. A very

common example of this process would be Malaria. (Rinkesh, 2018)

Wastewater produced from the textiles could lead to the presence of heavy metal

contaminant. Meanwhile, heavy metal is one of the contaminants in wastewater and must be
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overcome with the appropriate treatment process. To overcome the heavy metal issue, the

absorption method by organic waste could be used. Effective microorganism (EM) mudballs and

banana peels is a method for treating wastewater quality from textiles effluent. (Nazria, 2016).

Bokashi Balls

Since then, scientists were looking for a cure to this pestilence. They came up with what

we call the "Effective-Microorganisms Balls" or simply, Bokashi Balls. It was said that these

balls made up of microorganism could make bacteria infested waters clean again, for these balls

can actually wipe out cyanobacterial blooms, thus making dirty waters clean again. On the other

hand, some of the authorities among different nations who use the mentioned EM Balls, forbid

the use of these balls for they were said to contain heavy metals, such as mercury as well as

nutrients not suitable for aquatic ecosystems (Rijkswaterstaat, 2007).

Bokashi is a traditional agroecological technique first developed in East Asia and now

utilized extensively across Asia and Latin America. While composting often requires extended

maturation times, frequent aeration and hydration, and large spaces, bokashi matures in

approximately two weeks and is made in smaller piles for simpler management. The maturation

stage of bokashi to fosters beneficial microbial growth, breaks down nutrients to bioaccessible

forms, and processes materials so that they no longer attract pests (Nishio, 1996). Perhaps this

final characteristic granted bokashi its name which translates from Japanese to mean, “obscuring

the direct effectiveness” (Nishio, 1996).

The EM mudballs are made by mixing ordinary clay, red earth or top soil with EMAS,

thoroughly kneading them and forming into the size of tennis balls. Some mudballs have an

additional mix of Bokashi, a fermented organic matter made using rice bran, oil cake, fish meal,

sawdust, etc.. Bokashi, a Japanese word meaning "Fermented organic matter", has been used by
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Japanese farmers as traditional soil amendments to increase the microbial diversity of soils and

supply nutrients to crops. After drying for about a week, the mudballs are ready for use.

(Kurihara, 1990)

Bokashi balls are not just only for wastewater rehabilitation, but it can also be used for

improving degraded soil organic matter. It can also enhance drought tolerance in crops.

PABINHI farmers have found bokashi to be particularly effective in rehabilitating

degraded soil sand restoring soil organic matter. The use of bokashi has also been noted to

improve drought tolerance in crops such as corn. On-farm experimentation has determined that

in rich soils it is not always necessary to reapply bokashi prior to planting the second rice crop.

In the long term,when soil fertility and organic matter have been restored it may be preferable to

reduce the application rate of bokashi and combine it with other organic amendments such as

compost. (PABINHI-PILIPINAS, 2006)

The introduction of EM technology in Philippine agriculture can be viewed as an

excellent opportunity to avail of a product that has successfully been proven in many countries of

the world, especially in member countries of APNAN. However, one has to understand that

under the Philippine setting, prior clearance from the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority is needed

before any new fertilizer/pesticide material can be marketed locally. Thus, to obtain such

clearance, some efficacy tests on EM and Bokashi were conducted during the past cropping

seasons. (Escaño, 1996)

EM-1 and its Compositions

Water quality has received considerable attention in allocation processes for maximizing

the satisfaction of various sectors. However, pollutant impurities that impede adequate supply of
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water have a detrimental effect on the quality and harmful for living organisms including aquatic

life. For the reduction of water pollution level, various chemical and biological treatments are

available but the emergence of an amazing technology of a multiculture of anaerobic and aerobic

beneficial microorganisms is presently gaining popularity due to its environmentally friendly

nature. This effective microorganism (EM) technology uses naturally occurring microorganisms

which are able to purify and revive nature. (Shariff, et. al., 2010)

Effective Microorganism (EM) is one of the biological treatment method being used in

river rehabilitation process. Various conventional methods are in practice for purification of

water and removing the pollutant contaminants, but most of them are costly and non-eco-friendly

(Dhote, S. and Dixit, S. 2009).

Effective Microorganisms (EM), a combination of decomposing microorganisms, are

extensively used in many parts of the world but their success has not been thoroughly assessed

within a Southern African context. Their purposes, mostly employed heuristically, include

(a) the treatment of raw, polluted and municipal wastewater;

(b) recycling of waste in livestock industries;

(c) commercial composting of green wastes, garbage and other organic matter when

used as compost inoculants;

(d) helping to mitigate the effects of acid rain on crops, vegetation, water and soil;

(e) reduction and/ or elimination of methane and harmful gas production in landfill sites;

and

(f) controlling odour and flies in landfill sites and other places where odour and flies are

a problem (e.g., livestock industries).


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The decrease in turbidity and phosphates was attributed to the EM but not that of

ammonia as the control also decreased in the same manner. As such, the levels of treatment

achieved by EM on surface and wastewaters were considered to be low as only two (turbidity

and phosphates) out of seven parameters measured showed significant decreases. Based on this

research, it is anticipated that better treatment efficiencies may be realised by combining EM

with other complementary microbiological treatment agents and this is suggested for future

research (Chooka, 2010).

EM can avert the formation of chemical reactions of non-beneficial bacteria that will help

in increasing the environmental microbiology that leads to healthy environment. Bacteria in the

EM solution can increase dissolved oxygen (DO), stabilize pH in water, reduce odor, reduce

nutrients in the pond, reduce sediment or sludge in pools, lowering the level of biochemical

oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), reducing the level of hydrogen

sulfide gas production, reducing iron and manganese level, reducing the level of organic matter

in the water. (Azwita, 2009).

Lactic Acid Bacteria, Yeast, and phototrophic (photosynthetic) are the 3 principal

microorganisms in EM-1 Because of its low ph, Lactic Acid Bacteria inhibits the growth of

harmful microorganisms, while yeast is the fermentation starter and helps produce bioactive

substances such as hormones and enzymes. Phototropic (photosynthetic) microorganisms use

solar energy to metabolize organic and inorganic substances. Combining these 3, with the

addition of other elements, it converts organic matter through the process of fermentation which

increases the efficacy of organic matter. (Antipolo, 2010)

The chemical composition of EM-1 start a reaction which will cause an effect wherein,

eventually, wastewater is cleaned.


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EM-1 effect on wastewater

Unlike adding chlorine in the detoxification process usually done in the conventional

methods, effective microorganisms application is a kind of bioremediation process and its use

becomes to an eco-friendly nature and the water treatment has maximum sustainable benefits

over the chemical process of treatment. Further applying the EM treated water for the safe land-

filling and irrigation offers improving the plant growth, crop productivity and hence an enormous

scope is prevalent from the present study. (Kannan, 2012) The main aims of the mudballs is to

stop the growth of algae, to break down sludge, to suppress pathogens, and to eliminate the foul

smelling odors caused by high levels of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and methane. (Azman,2016)

So, the elements these mudballs are composed of, will produce a chemical reaction.

Bulk Density

Bulk density is an indicator of soil compaction and soil health. It affects infiltration,

rooting depth/restrictions, available water capacity, soil porosity, plant nutrient availability, and

soil microorganism activity, which influence key soil processes and productivity. Organic matter

content was found to have a dominant effect on both the bulk and true densities of soil in the

organic and eluvial horizons of the podzolic soils examined. The soils were stone‐free,

structureless, and of similar texture. (Adams, 2012)

The bulk density or volume weight or apparent specific gravity is the dry weight of a unit

volume of soil in its field condition. It is the mass of a dry soil per unit bulk volume, expressed in

grams per cm3 . It has the same numerical value as the apparent specific gravity, which is

defined as the ratio of a unit bulk volume of soil to the weight of equal volume of water. The

bulk density of uncultivated soils usually varies between 1.0 and 1.6 grams per cm3 . Compact
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layer may have a bulk density of 1.7 or 1.8. generally the finer the texture of the soil and higher

the organic matter, the smaller is the bulk density. (Sanchez, 1976)

Compacted soils are not uniformly hard; they usually contain structural cracks and

biopores, the continuous large pores that are formed by soil fauna and by roots of previous crops.

Roots growing in compacted soils can traverse otherwise impenetrable soil by using biopores

and cracks and thus gain access to a larger reservoir of water and nutrients. Experiments were

conducted in a growth chamber to determine the plant response to a range of uniform soil

densities, and the effect of artificial and naturally-formed biopores. Barley plants grow best at an

intermediate bulk density, which presumably represented a compromise between soil which was

soft enough to allow good root development but sufficiently compact to give good root-soil

contact. (Wilm, 1996)

Synthesis

Water pollution is evident in most countries. One major problem is the wastewater

produced by households. Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of

water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations,

but also to the natural biological communities.

This water contains harmful bacteria that can cause health problems for people near the

affected area. Microorganisms in the water are known to be the cause of deadly diseases and

become the breeding grounds for other creatures that act like carriers. It is a good thing that

scientists found a way to rehabilitate polluted bodies of water, especially rivers. They came up

with the idea for “Effective Microorganism Balls”, or to put it simply, Bokashi balls. “Bokashi”

came from a Japanese word meaning “fermented organic matter”. Bokashi is a traditional
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agroecological technique first developed in East Asia and now utilized extensively across Asia

and Latin America.

There are other methods used for the purification of water, but most of them are costly

and non-eco-friendly because they use chemicals such as chlorine. However, effective

Microorganisms is included in the formation of Bokashi balls. It uses naturally occurring

microorganisms which are able to purify and bring back the cleanliness of the water. Bacteria in

the EM solution can increase dissolved oxygen (DO), stabilize pH in water, reduce odor, reduce

nutrients in the pond, reduce sediment or sludge in pools, lowering the level of biochemical

oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), reducing the level of hydrogen

sulfide gas production, reducing iron and manganese level, reducing the level of organic matter

in the water.

There are three principal microorganisms in EM-1 namely Lactic Acid Bacteria, Yeast,

and phototrophic. Lactic Acid Bacteria inhibits the growth of harmful microorganisms. Yeast, on

the other hand, starts the fermentation and helps in the production of bioactive substances such as

hormones and enzymes. The last one, Phototropic microorganisms, use solar energy to

metabolize organic and inorganic substances.

Effective micro-organisms application is a kind of bioremediation process and its use

becomes an eco-friendly nature and the water treatment has maximum sustainable benefits over

the chemical process of treatment. It is safer for the aquatic animals and is eco-friendly as well.

The main aims of the mudballs is to stop the growth of algae, to break down sludge, to suppress

pathogens, and to eliminate the foul smelling odors caused by high levels of ammonia, hydrogen

sulfide and methane.


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Since Bokashi balls are mainly composed of soil, its bulk density is relevant to the whole

cleansing of wastewater. Bulk density is an indicator of soil compaction and soil health. It affects

infiltration, rooting depth/restrictions, available water capacity, soil porosity, plant nutrient

availability, and soil microorganism activity, which influence key soil processes and productivity.

Compacted soils are not uniformly hard; they usually contain structural cracks and biopores, the

continuous large pores that are formed by soil fauna and by roots of previous crops. This gives

way for the growth of effective microorganisms.

CHAPTER III

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Research Design

The study itself is quantitative and experimental by design. Experimental research design

is centrally concerned with constructing research that is high in causal validity. (Mitchell, 2015)
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This means that the results of the study will heavily depend on how the variables will react to

each other.

The researchers will gather the necessary data and explain how each one will be utilized

in the study. As for the interpretation, the researchers will make use of visual observation to

determine the significant changes and be able to come up with a result.

Research Locale

The researchers will conduct the study in one of the science laboratories of University of

Perpetual Help System-DALTA, because this is the most accessible. Since the study doesn’t

require much laboratory equipment, this is the most suitable location. The staff of the university

will be the one to aide the researchers in conducting the experiment.

Research Instruments

The Bokashi balls will vary depending on the soil density as determined by the type of

soil. Namely, loam, clay and sand, all with varying densities. To determine its effectiveness, the

researchers will collect wastewater from the same polluted body of water to ensure fair testing.

After, the researchers will place the collected wastewater in different containers with the same

measurements. The effectiveness will be determined whether the wastewater has become clear.

Sample

For the samples, the materials used are 1 liter of wastewater that is observationally

unclear, in which the researchers will put 2 Bokashi balls of the same variation according to the

kind of soil.

Procedure:
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The researchers will divide the wastewater into three (3) separate 1 liter containers. The

collected wastewater will be observationally unclear. To which the researchers will then place

two (2) Bokashi balls, of every kind, in each container. Then, after approximately 2 or 3 weeks,

the researchers may be able to tell which setup was more efficient in cleaning the wastewater.

Preparation of Sample

Beforehand, the researchers will prepare the Bokashi balls using the most common

procedure that can be found in the internet. This is by mixing Effective Microorganisms,

molasses and bran. After that, it will be formed into balls, approximately the size of tennis balls.

The balls will be left to ferment for a minimum of two weeks. The only difference will be the

soil used, which is clay, loam, and sand. After that the Bokashi balls will be “ripe” to use for the

experiment.

Experimental Procedure

Preparation of Bokashi balls

Collecting of wastewater

Preparation of the Samples

Experimentation
Analysis
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Figure 2. Experimental Flowchart

According to the flowchart shown above, the study will undergo a process in which the

researchers can yield a reasonable result.

Statistical Treatment

The study deals with three different set ups; therefore, there will also be three results

from the experiments. So in this case, multiple regression is the best fitting way to statistically

treat the data obtained.

Data Gathering Procedure

The study requires gathering data outside of the laboratory. First, for the Bokashi balls,

the three different soils will be, if possible, obtained from gardens. An option will be buying soil

from commercialized gardening shops. The rest of the ingredients, like the molasses, EM-1 and

bran will all be store-bought. For the wastewater, the researchers will locate a body of water

within the vicinity and get water from it. The containers and storage will be provided by the

school’s laboratory.

Data Analysis Plan

Each of the following tests will have:


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3 set ups, each varying in the type of soil:

 Wastewater

 Bokashi balls