The sunflower seed oil industry is one of the most important industrial sectors. As a part of the agro-industry, sunflower seed oil production makes a significant contribution to environmental pollution in Turkey. A lot of research studies are known to be performed on the characterization and treatment of olive oil production wastes in Turkey, but the nature, amount, waste loads and treatment of the wastewaters produced by sunflower seed oil industries have not been studied to a great extent.
In this study, a typical sunflower seed oil refinery in the city of İzmir was selected as representative of this sector. Method of production is evaluated and the refinery is investigated for the characterization of its wastewaters. During the first part of the test program, quality of combined and separate raw effluents was investigated. Possible physical-chemical treatment alternatives were studied using bench-scale laboratory models. Based on these studies, the most practicable and efficient combination of treatment operations and processes were pointed out. Waste segregation possibilities for minimization of wastewater quantities are investigated. In these investigations treated effluent quality has been evaluated with respect to the discharge parameters set by the present Turkish environmental legislation.