Pilot system in the framework of the project:
The liquid status of the residue, the large amount produced only in one short period of the year (September – November), the pH and other factors make the composting process using that waste a challenging option. However according to the literature, the composting activity is one of the few operations which eliminates the fitotoxicity of the OMWW. The strategy identify has been to treat the OMWW in an integrate system where many process are involved, starting from a better management of the olive oil factories including composting, fertigation and anaerobic digestion
The activity should be considered as a small pilot project able to increase the knowledge of the issue and give some answer to solve the problem. During the first mission some data has been collected and a Feasibility Study will be conducted in the next months.
Olive oil mill survey
The first activity carried out in Tulkarem as been the survey of 5 olive mills. The visits has been done with the olive oil experts from UWAC. In table 1 has been presented a summary of the main behavior and data about the 5 mills visited. The figures were collected reporting the information given by the owners of the factories and should be verified during the Feasibility Study and by the UWAC experts.
Availability of residues from agriculture and agroindustrial production
The pilot system foreseen also a small scale composting production where the OMWW can be used in the mixing process or to water the material during the curing. The composting process need to have different kind of organic waste to be collected from the agricultural and agroindustrial activities. The success of the pilot system depends also from the possibility on getting raw and clean organic residues from the area. During the mission a small survey has been started and will be continued and finalised by the UWAC expert after the mission. In annex 3 has been inserted a card to compile. The document has been shared with UWAC and can be adjusted during the activity. The card is a list of information that should be collected from farms and factories which can supply raw organic material. The most important data In the list other that the name and location of the company are the final product they are selling, the type of residues, the quantity, the price (or if the residues are for free) and the period when residues are available. The survey has started by checking one of the main Palestinian company for chicken food production AZIZA company.
After the compilation of the card will be possible to understand better the quantity of compost that can be produced, the quality and the costs. Due to the high moisture rate of the OMWW it would be more suitable to collect residues with low moisture, such as agricultural residues, straw, branches etc…
Marketing study for organic fertiliser
The economical sustainability of the pilot system is mainly possible if the compost produced will be sold. According to the information collected during the mission, farmers buy compost but are more interested on chemicals, however the need of organic matter is well known. In this paragraph are reported the informations collected. The average price for the compost in the market is of 500 NIS/ton. More expensive are the organic fertilizers. In the Business plan (Annex 5) has been evaluated the possibility of selling only compost as it is or an organic fertilizer produced by enriching the compost with some mineral or natural elements.
Biogas Production – co-digestion
In order to have a system that consider more than one system to treat OMWW and to be able to set up and test different combinations, a preliminary survey on the possibility to install an Anaerobic Digestion plant inside the system has been done. The production of biogas using Amurca might be possible but only if mixed with other organic material, for instance sludges from small Waste Water Facility (like the Hajja facility recently built by GVC), agricultural production residues or waste from poultry processing factories. During the mission a farm was visited in Tulkarem where an
ARTI digester has been constructed and activated using cow manure and residues from agriculture.
A small biogas system was also in place in the composting facility of Thenaba Cooperative. A report about the feasibility on the biogas production at household level in Palestine shows that biogas systems bigger than 9 m3 can be profitable for an average palestinian family (the_feasibility_of_family_biogas_production_from_mixed, Medyan Adel Mustaffa Hassan, 2004). The co-digestion has been than inserted in the activities for the integrate system of OMWW treatment as an option. During the Feasibility Study a mass balance would be done considering also the Anaerobic Digestion.