The COOPID project has carried out a selection of 10 success cases within the bioeconomy across the EU primary sector. This is the one belonging to the Spanish Success Case: Oleícola El Tejar. This case covers their overall business idea, main products, key characteristics, and plans for development of its business model.

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Main facts

  • Established in 1967

  • 300 employees

  • Cooperatively owned

  • Pomace collected from 240 olive oil mills

  • 2 million tons of pomace processed per year

Main products

  1. Crude pomace oil
  2. Electricity
  3. Ashes from burning biofuels are sold as input to fertiliser production
  4. Natural bioproducts with high added value for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic, and animal feed use.

Overall business idea

  1. Integral use of the olive grove by-products
  2. Valorisation of pomace (residual product from olive oil mills) through a bio-refining approach
  3. Physical and chemical extraction of crude pomace oil
  4. Production of electricity and heat from burning of dried, exhausted pomace, pruning waste, pits, and leaves
  5. Selling ashes from burnt biomass to external company to be used for fertilizers.

Key characteristics

  1. Valorisation of residual biomass for a range of products
  2. Dried biomass waste streams used for electricity and heat
  3. Circulation of nutrients back to olive groves
  4. Biorefinery coupled to their process
  5. Use of recycled water for increased resource efficiency
  6. Close cooperation with universities and research centers
  7. Pro-active approach to the application of new technologies

Plans for development

  1. Examine possibilities for application of new energy technologies like anaerobic digestion or gasification
  2. Further optimise processes to improve profitability

Explore the Spanish Bioeconomy Cluster

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COOPID French Success Case: Grand Est bioeconomy ecosystem