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F-CUBED: WP3 - The pilot campaign in ITALY

The past autumn the F-CUBED team achieved another important milestone in the framework of the Work Package 3: the TORWASH® pilot plant and the Limburg Filter-Press have been operating in the supply chain of the extra -virgin olive oil with waste olive pomace on location of an APPO-member olive oil mill in Bari, Italy to perform the second long duration testing in the project.

On October 25th the TORWASH® pilot plant arrived to FRANTOIO OLEARIO CHIMIENTI olive oil mill in Sannicandro di Bari, Italy (Figure 1), directly from the site of Smurfit Kappa (Piteå, Sweden).

Figure 1

It was installed and adjusted for the pilot tests in an area of the mill devoted to F-CUBED Project (Figures 2, 3).

Figure 2

Figure 3

On the 26th of October the functional testing with olive pomace was performed and produced an initial press cake with 59.0% dry matter. This was a very good result, and it was determined that long-duration testing could begin (Figure 4).

The long-duration test with the TORWASH® pilot plant was performed for 18 days until 12th of November, therefore the TORWASH pilot plant has been operating continuously for a total of more than 300 running hours, over the minimum requirement for 200 hours continuous operation. During the long-duration pilot test 8500 kg of TORWASH® effluent was produced with a very consistent and high dry matter content in the range of 57-60% (Figure 5).

Figure 4

Figure 5

At the beginning of November the membrane filter press arrived (Figure 6)and was installed (Figure 7) at the tests site. Dewatering phase took place from 10th till 12th of November (Figure 8) and a consistent number of press-cakes was collected and stored (Figure 9). First outcomes on site have indicated that over 150 kg of TORWASH® press cake has been produced. This means that sufficient material is produced for both pelletizing of 100 TORWASH® pellets and analysis by the consortium members.

Figure 6

Figure 7


Figure 8


Figure 9

Moreover throughout the entire long-duration test the presence of oil in the TORWASH® effluent and on top of the membrane filter press effluent was observed. Both the quantity and quality of this oil is being analysed. The presence of oil should influence the properties of the obtained TORWASH® press cake and press water effluent. This effect is currently under investigation.

The TORWASH® pilot plant was then dismounted and prepared for its transport back to Petten (NL) for some maintenance to perform prior to the next long-duration test with orange peels in Spain (Work Package 4) at Delafruit location.

A team of operators, members of TNO and members of LIMBURG FILTER, CA.RE. FOR. Engineering and APPO prepared months earlier for these activities, and worked together to ensure success in the installation.

Special thanks to Gianvito Chimienti, the Olive oil Mill Owner, for hosting and giving active support to the F-CUBED project.


Photos are from the archive of Marco Ugolini