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Development of a solar distillation wastewater treatment plant for olive oil mills

Project Funding: 413,344 Euro

Program Type: CRAFT - 5th Framework of the European Community

Status: partner (Technological leader)

Web Site:

The main objective of the SOLARDIST project is the treatment of the liquid waste generated in small olive oil mills, many of them with no economically adequate treatment system, by means of a combination of a solar distillation process and constructed wetlands. In addition, the organic solid waste generated during the processing of the olive oil is proposed to be composted in order to provide an environmentally friendly solution to this residue.

Problems to be solved:
Europe is the most important producer of olives in the world. A significant part of the olives harvested are processed to produce olive oil in several thousand of mills. These producers are mainly placed in the basin of the Mediterranean Sea (Greece, Italy, Spain, and other countries), and all of them with the common trouble of the wastewater generated in the process. Many of them are small and medium sized enterprises, without enough economical resources to afford expensive solutions for the problem of this wastewater. It is necessary to join forces and resources together in order to find an economical and easy solution.
Concurrently, a solid residue is produced within the olive oil production, which is usually burned or deposited in olive farms.