Olive Processing Waste

by Build Palestine

   Palestine, Palestine

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Build Palestine is looking for collaborators to find an innovative eco-friendly method to use the highly toxic waste (Alpecin/black water) that is usually produced during the olive compression. This black water is rich in polyphenols, color, and soluble compounds, in order to reduce its hazardous environmental impact and to benefit from it economically.

An invitation to chemists to find a cost-efficient and creative uses of olive Alpecin produced as a by-product from olive processing thus decrease the hazardous impact caused by these type of wastes.

The Problem

Olive processing wastewater is a complex toxic mixture of many compounds, thus, it cannot be sent to ordinary wastewater treatment systems. It is not easily biodegradable and needs to be detoxified before it can properly be used in agricultural and other industrial processes. Palestine alone produces 18,000~24,000 tons of alpecin per year, which means that for every liter of olive oil produced, a liter of alpecin is also produced as a byproduct.

A common tactic for disposal of olive wastewater is to collect and retain it in large evaporation basins or ponds which wastes a good source of complex chemical compounds.

Alpecin is extremely dangerous, even a small quantity of olive wastewater in contact with groundwater has the potential to cause significant pollution to drinking water sources. The problem is more serious where chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water. Chlorine in contact with phenol reacts to form chlorophenol which is even more dangerous to human health than phenol alone.

The problems associated with olive processing wastes have been extensively studied for the past 50 years. Unfortunately, research has continued to fall short on discovering a technologically feasible and economically viable solution

The Challenge:

To find creative and innovative applications for the wastewater of olive processing instead of discarding it and causing numerous environmental problems. The submitted solution should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Eco-friendly.

  • Preferred to be applicable for olive solid wastes also.

  • Cost efficient.

Reward and Conditions:

The submitted solution submitted will be implemented according to the following conditions:

  1. The solution should meet the aforementioned criteria;

  2. The solution should be provided as a prototype design that serves as a proof of concept.

  3. The solution should include a clear plan of action including implementation stages, timeline, required tools/materials, estimated budget, and technical support required (if applicable);

  4. The reward will be given in installments, in accordance to milestones set by the innovator(s) according to their plan of action;

As per our platform Terms and Conditions, in case the intellectual property rights are not registered, the innovator should include the minimum details required to judge the technical validity and feasibility of the solution without full technical specifications.

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