Detrimental effects of olive mill wastewater on the composting process of agricultural wastes.Waste Manag 2006; 26(10):1099-107WM
In order to study the suitability of composting olive mill wastewater (OMW-L) by repeated applications, OMW-L was added to one mixture of lawn trimmings and olive husks as bulking agents. The composting process of this mixture was compared with another pile having 35% of olive mill wastewater sludge (OMW-S) obtained from evaporation ponds and a third, as a control, without olive mill wastewater. The repeated applications of OMW-L resulted in a sharp decrease in respiration measurements after the first 20 days of composting and showed a re-increase after 40 days following the substituting of OMW-L by water. The OMW-L addition increased the rate of water-soluble phenols in the compost and caused the appearance of a phenol fraction of high molecular-mass (510 kDa) at the end of composting. OMW-L addition also caused a clear decrease in both thermophilic bacteria and thermophilic eumycete counts. A longer persistence of phytotoxicity was observed in comparison with the other piles. However, the OMW-S produced a compost with a high degree of maturity.