Review Article Open Access

Chemical Coagulation/Flocculation Processes for Removal of Phenolic Compounds from Olive Mill Wastewater: A Comprehensive Review

Mounia Achak1, Fatima Elayadi2 and Wafaa Boumya3
  • 1 Science Engineer Laboratory for Energy (LabSIPE), National School of Applied Sciences, Chouaïb Doukkali University, El Jadida, Morocco
  • 2 Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Ecology and Valorization of Ecosystems, Sciences Faculty, Chouaïb Doukkali University, El Jadida, Morocco
  • 3 Chemistry and Mathematical Modeling Laboratory, Faculty polydisciplinary, Hassan First University, Khouribga, Morocco


Olive oil extraction processes generate three phases: Olive oil, solid residue (pomace) and aqueous liquor Olive Mill Wastewater (OMW). OMW causes serious environmental deteriorations such as coloring of natural waters, alteration of soil quality, phytotoxicity and odor nuisance. The direct discharge of this effluent into the soil bring various negative effects on the environment, due to its high load of organic matter and phenolic compounds. Coagulation, flocculation and their combination processes are among the most applied processes for wastewater treatment. The application of coagulation technique using mineral and inorganic polymeric coagulants and acid cracking is not always effective to reduce COD and phenolic compounds from OMW except lime. Although direct flocculation is a low treatment cost, use less chemical and produce less sludge, the efficiency of COD and phenolic compounds removal remain very low. Coagulation-flocculation process is developed in order to enhance the removal efficiency of organic matter from OMW by optimizing the operating conditions. However, many studies showed that the combination of various cationic organic coagulant and flocculant agents did not show any significant decrease of COD and phenolic compounds except for lime combination. In the present review, recent research studies dealing with the application of coagulation/flocculation for removal of phenolic compounds and COD from OMW are presented and compared. Furthermore, the main factors that influence the selection between coagulation, direct flocculation and coagulation-flocculation are presented and the principal removal mechanisms are discussed.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 16 No. 3, 2019, 59-91


Submitted On: 9 January 2019 Published On: 30 March 2019

How to Cite: Achak, M., Elayadi, F. & Boumya, W. (2019). Chemical Coagulation/Flocculation Processes for Removal of Phenolic Compounds from Olive Mill Wastewater: A Comprehensive Review. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 16(3), 59-91.

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  • Olive Mill Wastewater
  • Coagulation
  • Direct Flocculation
  • Coagulation-Flocculation
  • Mechanisms
  • Removal Efficiency