Analysis of Hydrophobization potential of olive oil production wastes for soil and exploration of optimized waste use in the light of current olive oil production structure in Israel and Palestine




The Middle East and the Mediterranean basin, namely Palestinian Authority, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Greece, Italy, France, Spain and others, contain 95% of the olive trees cultivated world-wide (1). 45% of the cultivated land in the Palestinian territories is covered by olive groves that produce 19% of the agricultural output and influence the lives of 100,000 families (2) in these territories. As olive oil mill waste water contains valuable organic matter and nutrients (3), its use in agriculture could help improving intensely cultivated soils (4). However, the waste water of olive oil mills is known to be environmentally risky (3,4), and there is a significant lack of knowledge on (i) specific mechanisms leading to unwanted changes in the soil-water-plant environment affected by olive oil mills waste water and (ii) new perspectives for olive oil waste water treatment minimizing the unwanted effects.

The objectives of this project are

  • to investigate the effects of waste water from olive oil production on soil wettability and the mechanisms leading to reduced wettability in soils contaminated with the waste water
  • analysis of the steps of the olive oil production process in Israel and Palestine (both students) and their effects on olive oil (Lidiya Shemotyuk) and waste water quality and composition (Tanja Brandt)

Project Leader

Prof. Dr. Gabriele E. Schaumann

Dr. Arnon Dag (ARO, Gilat research Station, Israel)


Tanja Brandt

Lidiya Shemotyuk


in preparation


  • Gilat Research Station, ARO, Institute of Plant Sciences: Dr. Arnon Dag
  • The Volcani Center, ARO, Bet Dagan, Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, Israel: Dr. Mikhail Borisover and Dr. Ahmed Nasser
  • Al Quds University, Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority, Department of Applied Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology: Dr. Amer Marei Sawalha and Dr. Jawad Hassan