New Techniques for Treatment and Recovery of Valuable Products from Olive Mill Wastewater

  • Reda Elkacmi
  • Mounir Bennajah
Reference work entry


The olive oil industries produce large quantities of wastewater having an enormous amount of pollutants that provide a deleterious effect on environment drastically if discharged without proper treatment. Despite its treatment throughout the extraction process, this liquid waste still contains a very important oily residue, always considered as a pollutant waste. In this context, a new upgrading technique has been developed for the treatment and valorization of olive mill wastewater (OMW), to ensure a better environmental protection and to contribute to the improvement of the profitability of the oleicol field through the recovery of a multiple valuable products.

This chapter reviews both the treatment and valuation of OMW:

The first objective of this study is to describe the treatment of OMW by electrocoagulation (EC) in a stirred tank reactor (STR); a variable order kinetic (VOK) derived from the Langmuir-Freundlich equation was developed to simulate the kinetics of the detoxification of OMW with EC using bipolar aluminum electrodes. The results showed good agreement between the predictive equation and the experimental data.

The second part of this work was intended to extract and separate two polyunsaturated free fatty acids, with high purity by a fractional crystallization with urea from OMW collected from three olive oil extraction processes (traditional, modern, and semimodern). A comparative study was investigated with different OMW samples. By centrifugation, the oily phase would be extracted from OMW, which is destined to be a platform to obtain two fatty acids (oleic and linoleic acid), and to ensure total valorization of our effluent, a complementary process was carried out for production of a high quality soap, glycerol, and polyphenols.

Finally, a pilot plant was designed and developed for a full olive harvesting period (100 days), in one of the biggest olive production areas of Morocco, in order to carry out a socioeconomic study, which consists in studying the feasibility of OMW valuation project for the local olive oil extraction processes.


Olive mill wastwater Valuable products Electrocoagulation Variable Order Kinetic approach Isolation and purification Fatty acids Polyphenols 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reda Elkacmi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mounir Bennajah
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Valorisation, Faculty of Sciences Ain-ChockHASSAN II University of CasablancaCasablancaMorocco
  2. 2.Department of Process EngineeringNational School of Mineral Industries of RabatRabatMorocco

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chaudhery Mustansar Hussain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Environmental SciencesNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

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