Treatment of Olive Mill Wastewater and the Use of Polyphenols Obtained After Treatment

Semih Otles, Ilknur Selek


Olive mill wastes are signicant environmental problem especially in Mediterranean areas where they are generated in huge quantities in a short period of time. They are phytotoxic materials because of their high phenol, lipid and organic acid concentrations, but these wastes also contain valuable resources that could be recycled such as a large proportion of organic matter and a wide range of nutrients. The effluent from olive oil mills contains a large amount of polyphenols that have antioxidant properties. The market value of these antioxidants is high and they are commonly used in the food, cosmetics, pharmaceutics and chemical industries. For the management of olive mill wastewater (OMW) and other olive residues, various treatment methods can be used. Many scientists work on more efficient and cheaper treatment alternatives. Due to the great variety of compounds in the waste, several technologies to remove the harmful compounds for the environment should be used single or together. Some of the most used OMW treatments are drying / evaporation, forced evaporation, thermal treatment, centrifugation-ultraltration, electrocoagulation, composting, lagooning, adsorption, powdered activated carbon, filtration, sand filtration, membrane filtration, ultrafiltration, precipitation / flocculation, distillation, electrolysis, co-composting, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) such as ozonation, hydrogen peroxide / ferrous iron oxidation (the so-called Fentons reagent). Several OMW treatment technologies have been developed aiming at the removal of the main toxic organic compounds. A lot of factors must be considered to choose the treatment methods among them the investment, required area, specic training of the workers, noise and odour emissions and seasonality of production.


mill wastewater; treatment; waste management; polyphenols

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