Valorization of treated olive mill wastewater in fertigation practice
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Olive mill wastewater (OMW) brings about a major environmental problem in Tunisia as well as in the other Mediterranean countries. Its strong organic load and its toxicity due to the presence of complex phenolic compounds have dire effects when applied to soil. To overcome this difficulty, the OMW pretreatment was investigated in the present work using the Fenton oxidation reaction with zero-valent iron. Then, this pretreated wastewater was valorized in fertigation practice. The effects of the addition of different concentrations of both treated and raw OMW on soil and cropping system were investigated. The treatment by Fenton oxidation with zero-valent iron could reduce 50 % of COD and decrease 53 % of phenolic compounds. OMW application had a temporary effect on the soil pH and EC. The results showed that the evolution of soil pH and EC was related to the organic matter of the soil which depends on the spread concentrations of raw or treated OMW. After 15-day incubation period, the soil pH and EC tended to stabilize and return to the control level. Moreover, this stabilization is faster in treated OMW than that in raw OMW especially for concentrations as high as 3 and 4 %. Plants cultivated with treated OMW showed an increase in their germination. The results pointed an improvement in the stem length of plants which is almost similar to that of the control for both pea and tomato, especially for high concentrations of 3 and 4 %.
KeywordsOlive mill wastewater Phenolic compounds Toxicity Fenton oxidation Zero-valent iron Fertigation practice
The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology for the financial support to the current work. We wish to thank Mr. Jamil JAOUA, founder and former Head of the English Teaching Unit at the Sfax (Tunisia) Faculty of science, for having patiently edited this Paper.
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