Composting of the solid fraction of olive mill wastewater with olive leaves: organic matter degradation and biological activity.Bioresour Technol. 2003 Jan; 86(1):59-64.BT
The flocculated solid fraction of olive mill wastewaters, obtained from two different olive oil extraction systems (FOMW1 and FOMW2) was composted, with olive leaves (OL) as bulking agent, by the static pile system (Rutgers). The dynamic of organic matter (OM) degradation during composting and its relationship with the basal respiration and fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolytic activity, as indicators of biological activity, were studied. Two mixtures were prepared: C1, from 65% FOMW1 plus 35% OL; and C2, from 74% FOMW2 plus 25% OL and 1% urea. The biooxidative phase of composting in C1, which had a high initial C/N ratio, was long, leading to a high OM degradation, mainly of the lignocellulosic compounds. The water-soluble organic carbon content, C/N ratio and the urea supplied as a N source for the C2 compost make this mixture more adequate for composting, as it had a shorter composting time than C1, and developed a microbial population with a high metabolic activity. The results for basal respiration in C1 and C2 were correlated at a high probability level with those of FDA hydrolysis, and both parameters can be used for establishing the degree of biological stability of the composting material.