Potential of Agroindustrial Waste From Olive Oil Industry for Fuel Ethanol Production

Tania I. Georgieva, Birgitte Kiær Ahring

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Olive pulp (OP) is a highly polluting semi-solid residue generated from the two-stage extraction processing of olives and is a major environmental issue in Southern Europe, where 80% of the world olive oil is produced. At present, OP is either discarded to the environment or combusted with low calorific value. In this work, utilization of OP as a potential substrate for production of bioethanol was studied. Enzymatic hydrolysis and subsequent glucose fermentation by baker's yeast were evaluated for OP from 10% to 30% dry matter (i.e., undiluted). Enzymatic hydrolysis resulted in an increase in glucose concentration by 75%, giving final glucose yields near 70%. Fermentation of undiluted OP hydrolysate (OPH) resulted in the maximum ethanol produced (11.2 g/L) with productivity of 2.1 g/L/h. Ethanol yields were similar for all tested OPH concentrations and were in the range of 0.49-0.51 g/g. Results showed that yeast could effectively ferment OPH even without nutrient addition, revealing the tolerance of yeast to OP toxicity. Because of low xylan (12.4%) and glucan (16%) content in OP, this specific type of OP is not a suitable material for producing only ethanol and thus, bioethanol production should be integrated with production of other value-added products.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBiotechnology Journal
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)1547-1555
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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