, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 217-220

Chemical degradation and biodegradability increase

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The mill waste water holds a large amount of polyphenols, preventing the biodegradation processes because of their inhibitory action on microbial growth. Thus, its disposal represents an environmental problem for the great olive oil producing countries in the Mediterranean area.

In this work, we present the preliminary results from the application of a photo-oxidative process on mill waste water to evaluate the organic matter degradation potential and the biodegradability of the treated residue.

The total organic carbon is reduced up to 35% after 6 hours but the cost-effectiveness is unfavourable. In contrast, the aim of toxicity reduction is less expensive and shows good applicable chances; after 2 h, the polyphenols concentration drops by 60%.

Part of this work was presented at the ’4° Convegno Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale La Chimica per I’Ambiente (INCA)’, Santa Margherita Ligure (Italy), 25–28 February 2001