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Tratamiento de residuos de almazaras y método para obtener subproductos útiles de forma ecológica


Oferta Tecnológica
Un grupo de investigación de una universidad española ha obtenido la patente de un proceso ecológico de tratamiento de residuos de almazaras y obtención de antioxidantes con alto valor añadido para la industria. El método consiste en los siguientes pasos: mezcla de residuos sólidos y líquidos, extracción sólido-líquido de los compuestos de interés, separación sólido-líquido y nanofiltración para obtener los compuestos útiles en la fase líquida (polifenoles y antioxidantes). El grupo de investigación busca socios de las industrias agroalimentaria, cosmética, farmacéutica y biotecnológica con el fin de establecer acuerdos de licencia.


Olive mills residues treatment and method for obtaining useful sub-products in an environmentally friendly way
A research group from a Spanish University has patented an environmentally friendly procedure for treating residues from olive mills and obtaining antioxidants with high added value for industry. The group is looking for partners in the agro-food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries for a licensing agreement.
Waste effluents caused in olive mills for obtaining olive oil are very contaminant to the environment and do not accomplish the regulations to be spilled in public courses or sewage systems, nor can it be used for irrigation activities due to the highly contaminant charge. Those wastewaters show a high amount of residues, among them, polyphenols and fats which are the ones that show bigger problems, due to their polar and hydrophobic properties, respectively. The traditional way for treating waste products has been the storage in ponds, where the residue is concentrated over time.

A research group from a Spanish university has developed and patented a method which tries to solve the waste problem of the solid and liquid wastes from olive mills and obtains sub-products with high added value for industry (antioxidants) through the use of clean technologies, not being necessary the addition of external reagents during the process, such as solvents (which would generate additional waste waters).

The method consists in:
- Mixing solid and liquid residues.
- Solid-liquid extraction of the compounds of interest.
- Solid-liquid separation. In that process stage, a solid and a liquid phases are obtained, where the aqueous phase is enriched with all the compounds of interest and the oil-phase contains residual olive oil.
- Finally, through nanofiltration, the useful compounds present in the liquid phase are obtained (polyphenols and antioxidants).

The attached picture shows the initial and final samples after applying the procedure in the laboratory.

The research group is looking for partners in the agro-food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries for a licensing agreement.
Advantages and Innovations:
· Simple and safe procedure. It uses clean or "green" technologies, avoiding at any time using external reagents throughout the process.
· Allows the reutilization of the equipment and currents of the olive mill, thus requiring a minimal investment for the membrane equipment.
· Technically, energetically and economically efficient.
· The process and exploitation of sub-products allows to make profitable the olive oil mill throughout the year.
· The procedure uses the currents of sub-products to obtain a stream rich in high-added value antioxidant compounds where polyphenolic compounds are plentiful.
· A reduced organic current is obtained, which can be used either for watering or can be discharged.
· The other organic current obtained has high concentrations of hydroxytyrosol and other added-value products, with antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties.
· Availability of natural antioxidants instead of artificially obtained antioxidants
· Recovery of the polyphenolic fraction contained in wastewaters of oil industry can reduce the toxicity of those wastewaters and boost the purification, thus fostering their sustainability and management of them (environmental and agro alimentary industry)
Stage of Development:
Under development/lab tested
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The research group is looking for companies interested in licensing the patented technology, preferably from agro-food or environmental areas and more specifically companies dealing with olive products (olives, olive oil, etc.).


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
10004001 Tratamiento de aguas industriales