Olives and olive oil have been touted for centuries as part of a healthy diet, benefits including lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, as well as defense against certain types of cancer. In order for these products to make it to your table, though, a certain amount of processing is required, which uses about 600 million gallons of water per year in California alone.
Wastewater from processing olives just can’t be dumped into the local water supply, because some of the very things that make it healthy for human consumption make it disastrous when released into the environment. One particular aspect of olive oil, containing antioxidants, is its antibacterial nature. In the human body, this is very helpful, but in a stream or in the ground, can upset the fine balance.
Various methods exist to process olive wastewater, including evaporation ponds, centrifuges, and filtering, but they all have one problem or another. Evaporation ponds can leak or offend residents with the smell, centrifuges are expensive and carbon-intensive, and existing filter technology keeps getting gummed up by the high colloid concentrations.
A new filter system designed by New Logic adds a little vibration to enhance their operation. New Logic’s Vibratory Shear Enhanced Process [VSEP] vibrates the filter membranes, causing the wastewater to flow across the surface instead of straight through. The flow generated by the vibration keeps the filter membranes from gumming up. Olive wastewater is run through the VSEP system, stacking hundreds of vibrating filter membranes, which extracts solids and reusable oils.
New Logic’s VSEP system is smaller and less carbon-intensive than other reclamation methods, and yields water clean enough to drink or put back into processing or the environment.