Olive oil production is one of the most important industries in the Mediterranean region and especially in Greece, that belongs to the top three countries with the biggest olive oil production alongside Spain and Italy.
However, olive oil production also results in organic waste which, up until now, is disposed into the ecosystem and has contributed towards pollution of the environment at a significant level E specially in Crete, a considerable amount of olive oil mill waste ends up in rivers and the sea. The above mentioned organic waste due to its heavy load of chemical composition, can be used as a raw material for biogas production. The main purpose of this master thesis, is not to examine the magnitude of the environmental pollution but to provide an alternative olive oil waste management solution by taking advantage of the existing process of anaerobic digestion of organic waste to biogas Emphasis will be given on the island of Crete, as olive oil production is considered to be the main agricultural activity. This research will try to tackle two serious problems of the island, the organic waste management and the energy supply autonomy T he possibility for an alternative combination that provides a solution to both the aforementioned problems will be examined On top of that, considering the inevitable exhaustion of fossil fuels and
the recent market trend of switching to renewable sources investments, a detailed business plan will be developed, whose all paramete rs will be examined in order for this solution to provide realistic and profitable opportunities for business investment s on the island For this reason, each stage and factor will be thoroughly analyzed, starting with the production of olive mill waste vo lume o n the island Also, the biofuel production capabilities will be assessed the market demand, the potential profits and also the initial capital and investments that this project will require
As far as the latter is concerned factors such as the legal frame and potential state support or European funding will be also considered In addition, the necessary equipment and technologies will also be explored Finally, an attempt will be made to generalize the conclusions and indica te how applicable the latter are into the broader range of Mediterranean olive oil production countries.