Process Design and Scale-Up for Olive Waste Valorisation
technologies

EUROPE
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Process Design, modelling and scale-up for the olive waste industry

In many, mostly Mediterranean, countries both solid and liquid waste produced during production of olive oil present a cost and environmental problem for producers.

Simultaneously, production and use of oil derived fuels are responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.

In response to these issues, and in an effort to demonstrate technical, economic and environmental feasibility, Exergy, along with a consortium of European partners assessed the viability of implementing a process for conversion of olive oil industry waste to fuels based around the Fischer-Tropsch process.

Service

As part of the project, Exergy provided a range of process design including:

  • Conceptual design of the entire waste to fuel process
  • Overall process design including modelling and optimisation of pilot-plant gasifier
  • Scale-up of lab scale processes and design of pilot-scale process plant equipment.
  • Simulation and optimisation of the process at an industrially relevant scale to facilitate evaluation of economic and environmental credentials
  • Undertaking of case studies to evaluate alternative industrial scale production processes

Challenge

Olive oil industry waste represents a complex feedstock for processing. Whilst seasonal availability can make economics of a single feedstock type plant uneconomical, the variability and quality of feedstock can impact on design and implementation of conversion processes which already represent a challenge in terms of modelling and optimisation.

Outcome

Production of syngas from a complex olive oil industry waste stream was successfully demonstrated at pilot scale and a responsive model incorporating key reactions sets using the simulation software Aspen PLUS a model for the gasification process was validated. This model was updated and incorporated into an industrial scale design which enabled the economic and environmental credentials to be assessed.

KPIs

Base case: Gasification using air
( O2+ N2)

EFFICIENCY IN CHEMICAL PRE-TREATMENT
75%
EFICIENCY IN DOWNSTREAM PROCESSING
72%

KPIs

Case Study

Pre-stage before the gasifier, separation of  N2 from  O2, gasification  with pure (or almost pure) oxygen. The case study led to a decrease in the equipment size and subsequent reduction in CAPEX

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EFFICIENCY IN CHEMICAL PRE-TREATMENT
78%
EFICIENCY IN DOWNSTREAM PROCESSING
65%

Interested in this project or want to find out more?

Get in touch with our specialist in this area
Musie Tekeste

Senior Process Engineer