by AudreyT on September 29, 2017 - 8:44pm
Olive oil is the sort of ingredient almost everyone has in their kitchen. It is mainly produced in Mediterranean countries, which are responsible for 97% of the olive oil production, which generates 8 billion gallons of wastewater every year. However, its production leads to major wastewater affecting soil fertility, drinking water, and ecosystems located near the olive oil mills.
The process of producing this oil includes crushing the olives and then mixing it with water before separating the oil from the water now unclean. This dirty water is what is a burden to get rid of. Olive oil producers cannot dump it into clean water as it contaminates it. Thye also cannot put it on land as it damages the soil and burning it is too expensive and causes air pollution.
To counter this, scientists have come up with a new process that would transform this waste into biofuel or even fertilizer and water that could be used for agriculture. The first step to the process is to mix the olive oil wastewater with cypress sawdust, another waste generated my Mediterranean countries. They would then dry up the mixture to collect the evaporated water, which can be used to irrigate fields. They would then would dry up the mixture to collect the evaporated water, which can be used to irrigate fields. Then they expose the dried up mixture to high temperature but without the presence of oxygen. This decompose it further to combustible gases and charcoal. the gas is condensed into bio-oil and the charcoal is used as a biofertilizer. This biofertilizer has improved plants capacity to grow in less than five weeks of use.
American Chemical Society. ''Olive mill wastewater transformed: From pollutant to bio-fertilizer, biofuel.'' ScienceDaily. 27 Septembre 2017.ùz