Removal of Polyphenols from Olive Mill Wastewater using Activated Olive Stones

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Hafez Q. Shaheen/supervisor
Dr. Shehdeh Jodeh / Co- Supervisor
Dr. Omar Zimmo/ External Examiner
Dr. Abdelfattah Al-Mallah/ Internal Examiner
Dr. Hafez Q. Shaheen/supervisor
Dr. Shehdeh Jodeh / Co- Supervisor
Ruba Abdelrahman Farid Aladham
Extremely high organic loaded aqueous waste is seasonally generated from the olive oil extraction process, so called Olive Mill Wastewater (OMWW). In Palestine OMWW is disposed directly to sewerage system or wadies, whereas the solid waste (olive husk) is dumped into lands nearby the olive mills without treatment. This increases the risk of contaminating soil, surface water resources, and groundwater aquifers. The negative environmental impact of OMWW is attributed to poor biodegradation and toxicity of polyphenols present in OMWW. This work is focused on studying the environmental state of art of olive mills operating in the northern areas of West Bank. It also investigates the feasibility of transforming olives solid residue (olive stones) into an effective, high capacity low cost adsorbent for total phenol removal from OMWW. Olive mills survey analysis for 2010 olive season indicates that (1.25 m3 OMWW/ton olives) and (350 kg olive husk/ton olives) are generated from three-phase extraction process; accounting for 90128.9 m3 OMWW and 26584.7 kg olive husk produced in the study area. Characterization of OMWW reveals that high fractions of polyphenols (Avg. 4592.0 mg/l) are lost in OMWW with 0.031 total phenol/COD content. The pollution load of OMWW is extremely high, equivalent to about 2.2 million capita. A highly micropours activated carbon, with 368.3 m2/g BET surface area, is chemically prepared from olive stones using potassium hydroxide (KOH) as an activating agent. The produced activated olive stones (AOLS) exhibit high total phenol adsorption capacity. Adsorption equilibrium is represented by Langmuir isotherm model (qmax=333.3 mg/g). Total phenol adsorption kinetics is best modeled by pseudo-second order reaction rate and Dumwald –Wagner (intra-particle) diffusion model. Reduction of total phenol content in OMWW is achieved in mini column test of AOLS fixed bed adsorption. The effluent from AOLS fixed bed meets Palestinian standard for wastewater discharge. Thomas, Bohart-Adams and Yoon-Nelson models predicts the breakthrough curve of total phenol adsorption in AOLS fixed bed. Thomas model parameters of the breakthrough curve are employed for the design configuration of full-scale AOLS fixed bed for total phenol adsorption from OMWW. The thesis recommendations promote for olive extraction waste management policy and OMWW quality monitoring program. It also calls for further research to optimize the performance of fixed bed adsorption for OMWW pre-treatment and its possible integration with conventional treatment processes for complete OMWW treatment in order to meet the Palestinian treated wastewater reuse standards.
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