Table 19 Treatment Methods for the Solid Waste from Olive Oil Production

Treatment method of orujo and alpeorujo Physical processes

• Evaporation

• Thermal treatment Biotechnological treatment

• Aerobic (composting)

• Solid fermentation

• Anaerobic/mixed fermentation

• Fungal treatment Chemical processes

• Incineration

• Combustion

• Gasification_

Adapted from Ref. 1.

• The costs of a composting plant strongly depend on the sales potential for the final product in the individual countries. In Greece, for example, higher receipts from compost selling are possible than in Spain. As a result the total costs of a plant also change [2].

• The start-up time of the compost process is only two weeks. It runs in a cycle, which means that additional structuring material is required only in the beginning, and the compost itself is used later as structuring material. The final product is of a high quality and well suited to be used as fertilizer in agriculture.

• Anaerobic treatment by itself is not suitable for solid waste because of its low water content. Problems with mixing and clogging may arise during treatment. Moreover, anaerobic treatment requires further treatment measures, causing additional costs. Another problem is the long start-up time of the process after a longer shutdown period. These problems were behind the breakdown of anaerobic plants in Greece. In the meantime, these plants have been shut down. An economically reasonable solution is to combine this treatment for existing fermentation plants. For this purpose, however, the local situation must be suitable, that is, the fermentation plant should have free capacity and be situated near the olive oil production to avoid high transportation costs and start of digestion of the solid waste.

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