Daily Archives: December 2, 2014

  • Why olive oil prices are skyrocketing

    The price of crude may have hit a five-year low, but there is one oil that is skyrocketing in value.

    Olive oil prices have jumped by a third after a weaker-than-expected olive harvest in parts of Italy, France, Portugal and Spain. The crop is down 35 percent in Italy, with newspaper La Repubblica calling it “The black year of Italian olive oil.”

    The European olive harvest is getting whacked by a perfect storm of anti-olive weather: High temperatures in the spring, a cool summer and a lot of rain. Those also happen to be perfect conditions for the devastating olive fly and olive moth, The Associated Press reports. The olive fly burrows into an olive and lays its eggs inside, and the maggots tunnel out of the fruit, eating as they go.

    U.S. olive oil producers push for stricter labeling standards for imports

    “This is the worst year in memory,” the head of an Italian olive growers’ group told the news service. A leading olive oil supplier told The Grocer trade magazine that this is “the most difficult year I have ever seen.”

    One Italian olive grower is estimating that the price of oil there will rise to about 10 euro per liter, or about $47 per gallon.

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    The price of crude may have hit a five-year low, but there is one oil that is skyrocketing in value. Olive oil prices have jumped by a third after a weaker-than-expected olive harvest in parts of Italy, France, Portugal and Spain. The crop is down 35 percent in Italy, with newspaper... 
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  • Toxic waste from olive oil production turned into electricity

    The leading Nordic fuel cell technology company PowerCell has announced a technology developing project to convert toxic waste from olive oil production into electricity.

    Biogas2PEM-FC is an EU project that PowerCell coordinates. Together with partners from Spain, Greece, Sweden and the UK, a complete pilot plant has now been built in Andalucía, Spain.

    The waste from olive oil production is environmentally harmful and costly to dispose of. It contains pesticides and toxic organic compounds, it is also acidic and has a high salinity. Currently the waste is turned to landfill, but which is very costly and becomes a major environmental problem.

    The Biogas2PEM-FC project is an EU-funded project that PowerCell coordinates. Together with partners from Spain, Greece, Sweden and the UK, a complete conversion system has been developed. The project started two years ago and was finished last month.

    The goal of the project has been to develop a technology to convert waste from the olive oil production, into electricity. A three-part subsystem was developed; the primary step is an anaerobic digestion reaction to produce biogas from the waste, the second step is a reformer to convert the biogas to a hydrogen rich gas (reformate), and a last step -the fuel cell system to make electricity from the reformate gas.

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    The leading Nordic fuel cell technology company PowerCell has announced a technology developing project to convert toxic waste from olive oil production into electricity. Biogas2PEM-FC is an EU project that PowerCell coordinates. Together with partners from Spain, Greece, Sweden... 
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  • Korean Research Team to Develop Tech to Mix Water & Olive Oil to make eco-friendly cosmetics

    The newly-developed method is expected to be used in diverse areas to make surfactant-free eco-friendly cosmetics, semiconductors, paint, ink, pharmaceutical products, beverages, and medicinal transmitters.

    The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) announced on Dec. 1 that a research team led by Dr. Choo Min-chul at KRISS has successfully developed a tech to disperse oil at nanoparticle size into water at room temperature.

    To mix water and oil, it is important to first make nanoscale oil particles. Otherwise, oil particles stick together. Hence, they are easily separated with water in a short period of time.

    The research team has succeeded in dispersing oil particles with a focused ultrasound (FUS) device. The device, which was made using a PZT cylinder, can condense energy in the middle of a cylinder by shooting a 500kHz frequency into the water and oil solution.

    The device disperses oil particles in the water at such a small size by maximizing the cavitation, where pressure and high temperature occur owing to ultrasound. Since the device is designed to circulate in the solution, it can also evenly dissolve the particles. The process can be carried out on a large scale and automatically.

    The team mixed both Cetiol oil and olive oil with distilled water using this device, without adding surfactants. They found that the mixture was dispersed as a nanoscale emulsion type after six months.

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    The newly-developed method is expected to be used in diverse areas to make surfactant-free eco-friendly cosmetics, semiconductors, paint, ink, pharmaceutical products, beverages, and medicinal transmitters. The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) announced... 
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