Olive Mill Wastewater: From a Pollutant to Green Fuels, Agricultural Water Source and Biofertilizer

Khouloud Haddad, Mejdi Jeguirim*, Boutheina Jerbi, Ajmia Chouchene, Patrick Dutournié, Nicolas Thevenin, Lionel Ruidavets, Salah Jellali, Lionel Limousy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This investigation has established a complete environmentally friendly strategy for the valorization of olive mill wastewater (OMW). This valorization process includes different steps, namely, OMW impregnation on sawdust, drying, biofertilizer production, and soil amendment. The OMW impregnation on raw cypress sawdust (RCS) was performed using batch procedure mode. During this impregnation, 59% and 71% of the chemical oxygen demand and total dissolved salts of OMW were adsorbed on RCS. The drying of the impregnated sawdust (IS) and OMW was realized in a convective dryer at temperature ranging between 40 and 60 °C and air velocity ranging between 0.7 and 1.3 m/s. Comparison between both samples demonstrated clearly that the impregnation procedure accelerated the drying process and consequently allowed an ecologic recovery of water from OMW that could be reused. The IS sample was pyrolyzed at 500 °C for green fuel (bio-oil, gas) and char production. This residual char (IS-Char) exhibited higher mass fraction of 34.5%. The IS char characterization showed the presence of important nutrients (potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus) contents. The application of the IS char as a biofertilizer for rye-grass growth studies under controlled conditions showed promising results in terms of leaf dimensions and mass yields of the plant. These preliminary results indicated the validity of the established strategy to convert OMW from a pollutant to green fuels, agricultural water source, and biofertilizer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8988-8996
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochar
  • Green fuel
  • Olive mill wastewater
  • Soil fertilization
  • Wood sawdust impregnation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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