The opus of the global atmospheric and impact of climate stability has been altered by the increase in the emission of the greenhouse gas. Also, climate change has highly been affected by the food sector, since, its production lead to a large share of the anthropogenic emissions. The olive oil industry, in particular, the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is highly exported in Europe. Its general manufacturing process is hazardous if not taken care off.
The research aimed at evaluating the GHG emissions and energy consumption associated with production of EVOO, produced in Perugia (Petak, 2013). The approach followed was a cradle- to- grave. End results were useful in identification of strategies for mitigation of GHG emission. Activities like field operations, fertilization and soil management, were considered in the agricultural phase of the olive oil production.
The EVOO production undergoes the following process cultivation of the olive tree entailing mowing, fertilization, pest and disease control, pruning and harvesting; production of EVOO that is transport of raw materials to the mill, loading, de-branches, milling extraction, spreading of coproducts, cleaning the machines, bottling and freezing; packaging, distribution and the final disposal.
In addition, technical solutions were implemented so as to reduce energy consumptions and GHG emissions. For instance, transport system was improved as air crafts were used to transport the EVOO bottles (GISKey Environmental Data Management System, 2014). Hence, methodologies applied like the LCA, orchard fertilization, use of lighter bottles, ammonia as a coolant among others was aimed at ensuring that the effects of the GHG emissions to the environment are mitigated, and its benefits maximized.
A continuous upward trend characterizes the production of olive oil. Olives are the raw materials that result in the production of olive oil. Also, olive–pomace oil is used for dietary purposes, cosmetics, soap manufacturing and bio-diesel production is from a byproduct extracted from olive production process called pomace. Cultivation of olive trees has been greatly intensified in Spain resulting in the prompt increase of the production oil in 2010 to nearly 1.3 million tons.
A sequence of activities are involved in the process of olive oil manufacturing, like, olives reception, cleaning of impurities, using water to wash, olives being crushed, paste malaxation, extraction of olive oil, final centrifuging, storing, filtering and bottling. Traditionally, the process was carried out through pressing, unlike today where the centrifugal process is applied resulting to three by products: olive oil that is mixed with water for further centrifuging; wastewater; solid waste. The two-phase decanters for olive oil production were more applicable and environmentally friendly as it had two by products. Thus, having it characterized by high humidity compared to the three phase. Pomace from both phases is conveyed to the facilities of olive- pomace oil. Oil from olive-pomace undergoes the following procedure: receiving and storing fresh pomace, drying the pomace, dry pomace extraction, distillation, hexane-water concentration and its separation and the final storage of the oil. Another product produced is pomace wood.
The research aims at recording and evaluating current practices in Greece so as to treat solid and water waste obtained from the oil processing industry of olive, so as to add value to the process by uncovering the opportunities through potential valorization derived from waste streams and waste treatment. A four step method was used which entails: secondary collection of data amongst active companies of Greek involved in the field of production of olive-pomace oil or olive; primary data collection relating to waste water and waste applied methods of treatment in Greece done through visiting industries, questionnaires, official documents and telephone communication; recording the data collected; currently applied methods evaluation for wastewater and waste treatment generated from the Greek industries of olive oil processing.
Current methods applied in Greece for waste treatment are oil collection sedimentation, acidity neutralization, and disposal the open of operation ponds (Calow, 2011). Application of more advanced treatment methods results in better protection of the environment and additional benefits like bioenergy. Also, in valorization and solid waste management are a waste product in one industry is used as a raw material in another, thus, protecting the environment.
In an overview of both articles, the methods employed to curb the effects; GHG emissions and the wastes from olive oil or pomace industries were essential as it ensured the utilization of waste products and the reduction of their harmful effects through proper treatment, thereby, leading to economic upgrade and the protection of the environment.
Calow, P. (2011). Environmental management. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
GISKey Environmental Data Management System. (2014). [Washington, D.C.?]: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation.
Petak, W. (2013). Environmental management: A system approach. Environmental Management, [online] 5(3), pp.213-224. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf01873280 [Accessed 15 Aug. 2017].
Sej-Kolasa, M. (2010). AN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AS AN INFORMATION SYSTEM. Economics & Sociology, [online] 3(1a), pp.101-118. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.14254/2071-789x.2010/3-1a/8 [Accessed 15 Aug. 2017].