SQUALENE and SQUALANE are high value biological raw materials and are required in large quantities in the health food and pharmaceutical industries. The objective of this project is to replace the traditional shark liver oil based production of SQUALENE and SQUALANE by a new process and a new prototype technology to produce them from the worthless residues of olive-oil production.
Up to now, SQUALENE is obtained from shark liver oil, especially from the livers of rare species of deep sea sharks. After saponification and extraction with organic
solvents rasp., 99 % pure SQUALENE can be obtained. SQUALANE is produced by hydrogenating SQUALENE.
SQUALENE is found in high concentrations in olive-oil residues after the last production step (deodorisation) and is regarded as a waste product of the refineries. The quality of the cold pressed olive-oil (virgin oil) and also the quality of the olive-oil obtained by extraction would not be affected by the proposed process. Existing attempts, to obtain SQUALENE from olive-oil residues by distillation methods have not resulted in producing pure SQUALENE in economically viable quantities.
Starting material for SQUALENE enrichment would be the waste left from the olive oil industry. The objective of this proposal is the implementation of the Supercritical Fluid
Extraction to obtain a nearly pure SQUALENE and to hydrogenate SQUALENE to SQUALANE.
With regard to the apparatus, an already existing extraction plant shall be extended to include a prototype plant for the economic production of SQUALENE and SQUALANE from the olive-oil residues.
For those EU countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, a process for the SQUALENE resp. SQUALANE enrichment from olive-oil residues could be of far reaching economical importance. All olive-oil residues are considered as waste products and have to be disposed of. The subsequent environmental friendly treatment of these residues for the production of SQUALENE and SQUALANE could create a new economy field and new jobs in these countries. The project will be carried out by SME's and research organisations from Germany, Italy, and Portugal. Transfer of this technology is also planned for Greece and Spain .
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
2350 Riachos, Torres Novas