Grasas y Aceites, Vol 68, No 2 (2017)

Suitability of olive oil washing water as an electron donor in a feed batch operating bio-electrochemical system

F. G. Fermoso
Department of Food Biotechnology, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain

M. J. Fernández-Rodríguez
Department of Food Biotechnology, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain

A. Jiménez-Rodríguez
Departamento de Sistemas Físicos y Naturales, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain

A. Serrano
Department of Food Biotechnology, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain

R. Borja
Department of Food Biotechnology, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain


Olive oil washing water derived from the two-phase manufacturing process was assessed as an electron donor in a bio-electrochemical system (BES) operating at 35 ºC. Start-up was carried out by using acetate as a substrate for the BES, reaching a potential of around +680 mV. After day 54, BES was fed with olive oil washing water. The degradation of olive oil washing water in the BES generated a maximum voltage potential of around +520 mV and a Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) removal efficiency of 41%. However, subsequent loads produced a decrease in the COD removal, while current and power density diminished greatly. The deterioration of these parameters could be a consequence of the accumulation of recalcitrant or inhibitory compounds, such as phenols. These results demonstrated that the use of olive oil washing water as an electron donor in a BES is feasible, although it has to be further investigated in order to make it more suitable for a real application.


Bio-electrochemical system; COD removal; Electricity generation; Electron donor; Olive oil washing waters

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