Organic Industrial Wastes in the Middle East

Organic industrial waste includes a wide range of organic materials obtained from industrial and commercial operation. Industries in Middle East countries produces a large number of organic residues and by-products whose disposal is a major problem for stake-holders. In recent decades, the fast-growing food and beverage processing industry has remarkably increased in importance in major countries of the Middle East.

Since the early 1990s, the increased agricultural output stimulated an increase in fruit and vegetable canning as well as juice, beverage, and oil processing in countries like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. There are many technologically-advanced dairy products, bakery and oil processing plants in the region. 

Major Organic Waste Generators in Middle East

  • Food/Beverage Industry
  • Starch Industry
  • Sugar Industry
  • Paper Manufacturing
  • Slaughterhouse
  • Chemical Industry
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Dairies
  • Cosmetic Industry
  • Fish Oil and Fish Processing Industry

Solid wastes include peelings and scraps from fruit and vegetables, food that does not meet quality control standards, pulp and fibre from sugar and starch extraction, filter sludges and coffee grounds. Liquid wastes are generated by washing meat, fruit and vegetables, blanching fruit and vegetables, pre-cooking meats, poultry and fish, cleaning and processing operations.

Organic Waste Management Strategy

Organic industrial wastes, either liquid or solid, are a good substrate for biogas generation by making use of anaerobic digestion process. Anaerobic digestion of organic industrial waste is fast gaining popularity worldwide. Many industries produce liquid and solid wastes that are suitable for anaerobic digestion, such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, paper manufacturing and tannery industries. 

The use of biogas technology for wastewater treatment is increasing rapidly for industrial wastewater treatment. There are thousands of vendor-supplied systems in operation or under construction throughout the world. Over 30 types of industry have been identified as having wastewaters amenable to anaerobic digestion treatment, including processors of beverages, chemicals, food, meat, milk, pulp and paper, and pharmaceutics. 

Some of the wastes might be difficult to digest as a sole substrate, but they can be biochemically degraded in combination with manure or sewage sludge. The combined digestion of different wastes is called co-digestion.