We all know that olives and the oil they produce is healthy. But did you know that the humble olive is now helping to combat pollution in industrial sewage water? It’s true, and Water – Air Quality / Agriculture News had this to say yesterday:
A study carried out by Dr. German Tenorio Rivas, a member of the research group “Solids concentration and bioremediation” from the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada) has found an interesting use for the apparently useless olive stones: they eliminate hard metals – chrome, to be precise – by biosorption in sewage water from industries such as painting, tannery or galvanizing industry.
You may be wondering just how this can be done using olive stones, but the answer is really quite simple:
The process of biosorption of chrome by olive stones stems from their capacity to retain metallic ions in their surface. As the UGR scientist explains: “This is due to the difference in electrical charges. Olive stones are negatively charged, whereas metal is positively charged. That is the reason why they come together, thanks to ionic attraction”.
Apparantly, olive stones preoduce no subproducts that are difficult to get rid of later. It’s a clean method, in other words, which means less cost, of course. The end product from this revolutionary method is clean water and olive stones with the metal attached, which of course can be used again.