LIFE OLEA REGENERA - Valorization of bio-waste resulting from the olive oil extraction process

LIFE17 ENV/ES/000189

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Contact details:

Contact person: Elvira López Avilés
Tel: 34968676324
Email: e.lopez@fyneco.es

Project description:


Spain is the world's largest producer of olive oil. Most production is concentrated in the region of Andalusia, which produces one-third of the world's olive oil. The production process generates a lot of waste: only about 22% of each olive is extracted as oil. The rest is discarded in a mass called 'alperujo', a mixture of vegetative water, olive skin, olive pulp and crushed olive stones. The alperujo is transported by road (often long distances) to secondary extraction factories called 'orujeras' where it is dried in an energy-intensive process and made into low-quality oilve pomace oil or biomass. The drying process involves forced evaporation leading to emissions of suspended particles and other pollutants at levels above air quality thresholds. The large concentration of olive groves, olive mills and orujeras in Andalusia, makes the elimination of waste and air pollution from olive processing an urgent matter.


LIFE OLEA REGENERA will build an industrial plant to produce new by-products from olive oil extraction waste. These can be transformed into high-value products such as animal feed and bio-stimulants to improve plant growth. The new process will reduce waste, energy use and air pollution.

The industrial plant will be based on a patented technology that separates the liquid and solid phases of 'alperujo' generated during olive oil extraction using only physical treatments. This separation process leads to a solid residue with a high content (35%) of monounsaturated fatty acids and a liquid residue with a high content of antioxidant molecules and compounds of the secondary metabolism. The project aims at confirming the high economic value of these two by-products. The liquid by-product will be tested in olive groves in Portugal as well as in Spain. By reducing the water content (and thus weight) of alperujo, carbon dioxide emissions from road transport of this residue to the secondary extraction factories will be reduced. The orujeras will use less energy and air pollution will also be reduced.

The project aims at supporting the implementation of EU environmental policy and legislation: the circular economy action plan; the ambient and air quality directives and the industrial emissions directive, the 2050 low-carbon economy roadmap and the 2050 energy strategy.

Expected results:

  • Up to 40% reduction in waste from primary olive oil extraction;
  • Humidity of alperujo reduced from 75% to 40% after separation. Lower solid content will lower carbon dioxide emissions from road transport to orujeras and drying of alperujo. Fewer toxic particles emitted to air by the secondary extraction facilities;
  • Protocols for the low-cost production of new products such as high-value animal feed and bio-stimulants for plants;
  • Technical and economic feasibility studies to install the alperujo separator in other olive mills and replicate the process;
  • Cost-benefit analysis, market study, business plan and exploitation plan of the proposed system and by-products.



Environmental issues addressed:


Waste - Agricultural waste


air pollution‚  agricultural waste‚  energy efficiency‚  resource conservation

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.200 ...
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2011)112 - "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (08.03.2011)
  • Waste
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Fertilizantes y Nutrientes Ecolgicos S.L.
Type of organisation Large enterprise
Description Fertilizantes y Nutrientes Ecológicos, S.L. (Fyneco) is a manufacturer of fertilisers, biofertilizers, nutrients, plant enhancers and biocontrol agents. These include a wide range of inputs suitable for use in organic farming. Located in Murcia, it also provides technical advice to farmers about the use of its products.
Partners ORUJO FRIO, S.L., Spain OLIVAIS DO SUL S.A., Portugal CEBAS-CESIC, Murcia - Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain


Project reference LIFE17 ENV/ES/000189
Duration 01-SEP-2018 to 31-MAR -2022
Total budget 1,824,730.00 €
EU contribution 995,395.00 €
Project location Andalucía(España) Murcia(España) Alentejo(Portugal)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version