Millions of tonnes of pomace olive oil production should will no longer end up in the garbage, but benefit from bio-gas production. The EU-project Phenolive is researching also procedures, before to extract the precious flavourings for the cosmetics industry.
Olive Oil Pressing about eight million tons of pomace waste land every year. Because the press residues contain a waste of valuable substances that can be used in the manufacture of cosmetics and for biogas production. The aromatic compounds of polyphenols are particularly sought after. In the EU project Phenolive, industry and research therefore try to extract these compounds from the pomace and then use the rest of the biomass to biogas production.
Electromagnetic fields extract valuable flavouring substances turning Olive Oil Waste into Biogas Production
Olive pomace contains still a high water content of up to 65 percent after the pressing. Included are about two to eight grams of polyphenols per kilogram. This share is to pull out from the olive pomace. The Viennese scientists around Professor Hermann Hofbauer committed so-called pulsed electromagnetic fields. The rest still remaining over is exploited in biogas production. Here comes a gasification process used, the researchers successfully test for some time in large-scale plants in the Austrian Oberwart and Güssing.
Pomace is intended in the future of fuel production
“The next generation of dual-fluid gasification allows the use of alternative fuels. These include among other biogenic residual materials from the olive oil industry”, explained Johannes Schmid and Stefan Müller, employees of the research area of Prof. Hofbauer. “With the new generation of gasification technology we expect improved process efficiency on the one hand and on the other hand, a better quality of gas.” Thus also further synthesis would possible, about the production of fuels.
Demand is high for polyphenols. In 2011, the market in the EU reached a volume of 120 million euros. Natural extracts are also used for color, flavor and tannins in the food industry. Supposedly, they have even positive effects on humans.
Running the project still are involved up to 2016. in addition to the Vienna University of technology the company Laboratoire Phenobio, Repotec, Hakki Usta, Effitech and Mora industrial. The EU promotes Phenolive in the framework of the FP7 programme.