The main objective of this project is the “smart” exploitation of PRS that are produced by the Refinery of MOTOR OIL (HELLAS) – CORINTH REFINERIES S.A., the largest private industrial complex in the country with a processing capacity of 185.000 barrels of crude oil per stream day (BSD). PRS are wastes originating from crude oil processing into fuel and relative nonfuel products. Conventional sludge pretreatment consists of dewatering and/or deoiling to reduce the volume and residual hydrocarbon content.  However, due to their hydrocarbons and heavy metals content, these sludges are classified as hazardous waste and special handling is essential to be implemented before final disposal.

These sludges treated with properly modified industrial minerals available in Greece and other countries, like perlite and bentonite, will result in the generation of a valorized sludge mixture (VSM), and the ultimate conversion of a hazardous waste material into a higher added value commercial product.

The product targets to be in line with the Directive 2008/98/EC, which requires that waste shall be managed without endangering human health and harming the environment. VSM mixed with suitable soil amendments, like compost derived from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), will be used as raw material for the development of an Engineered Soil, a type of soil matter that poses no risk to the environment after disposal.


As stated previously, various qualities of stabilizers will be produced and tested for the efficiency on PRS stabilization; The evaluation of the stabilizers is step-wise procedure, starting with determination of the optimum stabilizer type and stabilizer/PRS ratio for each PRS type. Next, the stabilizer-PRS blending technique will be tested and optimized at lab scale; the properties of the developed VSM will be analyzed according to the relevant European standards and legislation and if needed, proper modification will be implemented in order for the VSM to meet the required specifications for the selected industrial applications. Due to the unique properties of the selected industrial minerals, their integration with PRS will result in PRS stabilization, and therefore the VSM will present minimum environmental risk. The selected industrial minerals will be properly processed and modified, in order to increase their effectiveness to the specific PRS, maximizing thus the desired stabilization level.

The optimum VSM will be used for the synthesis of the Engineered Soil, which will be initially tested at lab scale. Lab scale trials will be followed by two pilot actions of vital importance: one at the Motor Oil refinery premises, where the production of VSM at appropriate quantities for the synthesis and performance evaluation at pilot scale of the Engineered Soil will be tested; The other action comprises a test of Engineered Soil at a pilot site at the Municipality of Rafina-Pikermi.

In brief, through the LIFE DIANA project a hazardous material (PRS) is converted into an inert product with added value, simply by combining a smart scientific approach with materials and wastes from the industrial sector focusing on achieving an environmental friendly solution for PRS safe reuse in other industrial applications.


The LIFE DIANA project addresses one of the most important problems faced by the Greek and European petroleum refining industry, which is the environmental challenge arising from the disposal of PRS originating from crude oil processing, giving a clear European dimension to the project.

In Greece the petroleum refineries produce approximately 34.000 tons of petroleum sludges (PRS) per year, while the corresponding PRS quantities produced in Europe are estimated to around 1.000.000 tons. Due to the complex and inconsistent composition of PRS, both the cost-effective treatment and proper disposal pose considerable technical and industrial challenges worldwide.

The project aims at the valorization of PRS, currently classified as hazardous wastes, and their efficient transformation into products (VSM) that will be used in other industrial activities. Special attention has been given to the idea of using the VRS as a precursor matter to develop the Engineered Soil, finding application in projects related with restoration and rehabilitation/revegetation of abandoned lands.

The overall innovation of this project is to develop the required customized technologies and materials for the PRS valorization as well as the synthesis of the Engineered Soil. The initial stage is to demonstrate their applicability at pilot scale and assess the performance of both VSM and engineered soil according to the relevant European standards and legislation. It goes without saying that part of the project is the development of a pilot plate site to valorize the Petroleum Refinery sludges and produce the VSM and Engineered soil and implement all novel technologies and research into industrial minerals with a significant cost-effective impact.