Characterization of Olive Waste Ashes as Fertilizers

  • Rogelio NogalesEmail author
  • Gabriel Delgado
  • Mar Quirantes
  • Manuel Romero
  • Esperanza Romero
  • Eduarda Molina-Alcaide


Wet and dry olive cakes are the most important wastes generated when olive oil is produced. In recent years, both olive wastes have been incinerated to produce electricity, and thereby large amounts of fly and bottom ash are generated. In this study, physical, physicochemical, and chemical characteristics of olive waste ashes produced in Andalusian biomass power plants were analyzed to evaluate their suitability for agriculture. High variability among fly and bottom ashes may be ascribed to the origin of the olive waste and the combustion temperature. Waste olive ashes, which contained all particle sizes, showed high values of pH, salinity, water holding capacity, calcium carbonate equivalent, and P, K, Cu, and B contents. In contrast, moderate values were recorded for Ca, Mg, Zn, and Ni. Nitrogen is scarce in olive waste ashes; they thus can only be part of any fertilization strategy.


Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry Cation Exchange Capacity Combustion Temperature Ferrous Ammonium Sulfate Permanent Wilt Point 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was financed by the Junta de Andalucia, Spain, through project P07-RNM-2746. M.Q. and M.R. thank the Junta de Andalucia and CSIC, respectively, for their doctoral grants. We thank the biomass power plants of Agroenergetica de Baena, Vetejar, Agroeneregetica de Algodonales, El Tejar Autogeneración, and Planta de Biomasa La Loma for providing the fly and bottom ash from olive wastes used in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rogelio Nogales
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gabriel Delgado
    • 2
  • Mar Quirantes
    • 1
  • Manuel Romero
    • 1
  • Esperanza Romero
    • 1
  • Eduarda Molina-Alcaide
    • 1
  1. 1.Estación Experimental del Zaidín (CSIC)GranadaSpain
  2. 2.Department of EdaphologyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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