Bioremediation and biovalorisation of olive-mill wastes

  • J. A. Morillo
  • B. Antizar-Ladislao
  • M. Monteoliva-Sánchez
  • A. Ramos-Cormenzana
  • N. J. Russell


Olive-mill wastes are produced by the industry of olive oil production, which is a very important economic activity, particularly for Spain, Italy and Greece, leading to a large environmental problem of current concern in the Mediterranean basin. There is as yet no accepted treatment method for all the wastes generated during olive oil production, mainly due to technical and economical limitations but also the scattered nature of olive mills across the Mediterranean basin. The production of virgin olive oil is expanding worldwide, which will lead to even larger amounts of olive-mill waste, unless new treatment and valorisation technologies are devised. These are encouraged by the trend of current environmental policies, which favour protocols that include valorisation of the waste. This makes biological treatments of particular interest. Thus, research into different biodegradation options for olive-mill wastes and the development of new bioremediation technologies and/or strategies, as well as the valorisation of microbial biotechnology, are all currently needed. This review, whilst presenting a general overview, focusses critically on the most significant recent advances in the various types of biological treatments, the bioremediation technology most commonly applied and the valorisation options, which together will form the pillar for future developments within this field.


Olive-mill wastes Microbial treatments Bioremediation Valorisation 



J.A.M. wishes to deeply thank Manuel Carlos López López and M. Carmen Thomas Carazo (CSIC, Spain) for their support during the writing of this paper and Hauke Smidt (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) for his help during the last corrections of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Morillo
    • 1
    • 4
  • B. Antizar-Ladislao
    • 2
  • M. Monteoliva-Sánchez
    • 1
  • A. Ramos-Cormenzana
    • 1
  • N. J. Russell
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de FarmaciaCampus de CartujaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.School of Engineering and ElectronicsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  3. 3.Imperial College LondonAshfordUK
  4. 4.Laboratory of MicrobiologyWageningen University and Research CentreWageningenThe Netherlands

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