Genova: Making The Most Of The Pits


The Mediterranean is an olive-lover's paradise. From the tangy Greek Kalamata pickled in red wine brine to the working man's bitter "marim defukim" smashed olives grown in Israel- olives and their oil are a must in every modern kitchen. A new company, Genova, says they have found a way to make good on all those leftover pits: by converting olive biomass to energy. The company claims their reactor works well processing the leftovers of wineries too. Our mouths are already watering.According to Israel21c, Genova decided to focus on the biomass produced from olive presses, "because olive waste is difficult waste to process because of the pits," says Yonat Granot, an industrial engineer and CEO of the company.

This high efficiency and low cost (about $300, 000 for a 200kw/h unit) of Genova's biomass reactor has attracted the attention of Israel Electric company, Israel's sole electricity provider which is looking for environmentally-friendly energy solutions.

A prototype has been built and is being tested as a pilot project in the Druze village of Julis in northern Israel. Israel21c says that olive waste from Julis' olive oil press will be fed into Genova's reactor and will produce enough electricity to power its own press- so it will be self-sustaining.

Genova focuses on building on-site small reactors not larger than 200 kw/h; preliminary tests have shown the bioreactor works well with olive pits, wine waste, corn, and sunflowers. ::Israel21c :: Genova