Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 527–538 | Cite as

Biotreatment of industrial olive washing water by synergetic association of microalgal-bacterial consortia in a photobioreactor

  • P. Maza-Márquez
  • A. González-Martínez
  • M. V. Martínez-Toledo
  • M. Fenice
  • A. Lasserrot
  • J. González-López
Research Article


This study presents an effective technology for the olive processing industry to remediate olive washing water. A 14.5-L enclosed tubular photobioreactor was inoculated with a stable microalgal-bacterial consortium obtained by screening strains well adapted to olive washing water. The capacity of an enclosed tubular photobioreactor to remove toxic compounds was evaluated under photosynthesis conditions and without any external supply of oxygen. The results showed that the dominant green microalgae Scenedesmus obliquus, Chlorella vulgaris and the cyanobacteria Anabaena sp. and bacteria present in olive washing water (i.e. Pantoea agglomerans and Raoultella terrigena) formed a synergistic association that was resistant to toxic pollutants present in the effluent and during the initial biodegradation process, which resulted in the breakdown of the pollutant. Total phenolic compounds, COD, BOD5, turbidity and colour removals of 90.3 ± 11.4, 80.7 ± 9.7, 97.8 ± 12.7, 82.9 ± 8.4 and 83.3 ± 10.4 %, respectively, were recorded in the photobioreactor at 3 days of hydraulic retention time.

Graphical abstract

Biotreatment of industrial olive washing water by synergetic association of microalgal-bacterial consortia in a photobioreactor


Photobioreactor (PBR) Olive washing water (OWW) Microalgal-bacterial consortium Synergistic relationships Non-metric multidimensional scaling (MDS) 



This research was supported by European Algatec project (FP7) SME/2008/1/232331. The Instituto de Parasitologia y Biologia Molecular Lopez Neyra (CSIC), Granada, Spain is acknowledged for their DNA sequencing services.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Maza-Márquez
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. González-Martínez
    • 3
  • M. V. Martínez-Toledo
    • 1
  • M. Fenice
    • 4
  • A. Lasserrot
    • 5
  • J. González-López
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Institute of Water ResearchUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de MicrobiologíaFacultad de FarmaciaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Built Environment, School of EngineeringAalto UniversityEspooFinland
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Scienze Ecologiche e Biologiche (DEB)University of TusciaViterboItaly
  5. 5.Biotmicrogen S.L., Parque Tecnológico de Ciencias de la SaludGranadaSpain

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