Mediterranean cooperation in the treatment and valorization of olive mill wastewater

Program at a glance

Funding Agencies The fund is granted by the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) in the framework of the cross-border cooperation programme for the Mediterranean Sea Basin.
Program Period 2011-2014  
Total Budget 1.964.499,25 €  
NIREAS Contact Dr. D. Fatta Kassinos  
Project Acronym MEDOLICO  
Project Website  
Project Code I-B/2.1/090  
Coordinating Beneficiary NIREAS – International Water research Center, University of Cyprus  
Associated Beneficiaries Matimop, Israel Industry for R&D, Israel
Unioncamere Liguria, Italy
Unidade de Bioenergia, Laboratorio Nacional de Energia e Geologia, LNEG, Portugal
Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan
The Ben-Gurion University, Israel
University of Genoa, Italy

Program Overview

MEDOLICO (ENPI CBCMED) was a joint Mediterranean initiative bringing together regions from the East-end (Cyprus, Israel, Jordan) to the West-end (Portugal) and from the North-end (Italy) of the Mediterranean basin that are highly active in olive oil production and all face environmental and economic challenges posed by the management of olive mill wastewater (OMW).

The overall goal of the MEDOLICO project was to prevent and reduce the environmental risk presented by OMW by collaborating on the evaluation of the performance of various advanced treatment technologies at both bench and pilot scale and actively valorizing, in an integrated manner, the phenolic compounds (i.e. by-products) recovered from the OMW in order to provide solutions that significantly reduce the environmental impact of olive mills and sustainably protect the natural heritage of the Mediterranean basin.

Program Objectives

  • Evaluation of the existing status related to the OMW management in the Mediterranean basin with respect to the legislation in force, as well as a benchmarking of the technologies currently applied for the OMW treatment and the potential commercial opportunities available for the utilization of by-products recovered from OMW.
  • Evaluation of the performance of different OMW treatment technologies in purifying OMW at a bench scale, i.e. biological treatment through the JACTO reactor, membrane treatment using a combination of various types of filtration and separation processes (e.g. microfiltration/ultrafiltration/reverse osmosis) and coagulation/flocculation followed by solar Fenton oxidation
  • Pilot-scale evaluation of different OMW treatment technologies with regard to their efficiency in purifying OMW and the examination of the potential negative effects of OMW towards the germination of crops.
  • assessment of the feasibility of OMW by-products recovery and evaluation of their fertilizing value.
  • economic evaluation of the currently applied OMW treatment methods and the technologies tested and assessed during the project.
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