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There is an increasing interest in developing sustainable systems in the European Union (EU) to recover and
upgrade the solid wastes of the olive oil extraction process, i.e. wet husk. A Life Cycle Environmental Impact Assessment
(LCIA) of wet husk has been carried out aiming at facilitating an appropriate Life Cycle Management of this biomass.
Three scenarios have been considered, i.e. combustion for domestic heat, generation of electric power, and composting.
The Environmental Product Declaration and the ReCiPe method were used for Life Cycle Impact Assessment. Domestic
heating and power generation were the most important impact factors in damaging human health, ecosystems, and natural
resources depletion. Composting was 2-4 orders of magnitude less impacting than domestic heat and power generation.
Considering human health, the impact of climate change, human toxicity and particulate matter formation represented the
main impact categories. Considering ecosystems, climate change and natural land transformation were the main impact
categories. Within natural resources, fossil fuel depletion was impacted three orders more than metal depletion. Within
domestic heating and power generation scenarios, storage of wet husk along with the extraction by organic solvent, and
the waste treatment were the most impacting phases for global warming potential, ozone layer depletion, acidification and
non renewable fossil resources depletion. The results obtained for the waste disposal have been comparatively assessed
with respect to the environmental impact of the olive oil production chain.