Wednesday, May 4, 2016

04/05/2016: Eco-efficient systems designed for the aquaculture sector reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent

Environmental and energy sustainability are two major challenges for the aquaculture sector on its path to ensure the economic and environmental feasibility of the activity. So far, electricity costs - together with feedstock and temperature control - have become one of the factors with the highest impact on final consumer price. Therefore, industry efforts have focused on research and development into efficient and low carbon technologies to reduce costs and carbon footprint and to improve water quality.

Up to 45 percent of aquaculture facilities are far from urban centres, mainly located in highly-valued natural areas without access to the grid, which forces them to increase their consumption and their expenses almost fivefold in comparison with better-connected aquaculture facilities.

In addition, it is crucial to keep dissolved oxygen levels constant during finfish production, making it essential to use water aeration systems which have high rates of energy consumption. Aiming to solve this major challenge for the sector, the LIFE AQUASEF project is working on oxygen production through the most efficient alternative techniques.

One partner in the project, D&B Tech, has developed two prototypes: MicroBtech, especially designed for reproduction and pre-fattening modules; and O2BT, specifically for fattening aquaculture ponds. In terms of technological advances, it is worth mentioning the cross-flow system in which air and water are pumped through conduits into a specially designed membrane to generate small bubbles with an associated reduction in energy consumption. In this regard, the expert Javier Dávila pointed out that “the secret is in the size of the bubble, which is minimal”.

It is important to stress that the technology has been tested under real productive conditions in the facilities of another partner, Esteros de Canela (Ayamonte, Huelva). This farm manages the entire production cycle from hatchery to on-growing stages, which has allowed it to work with the two prototypes.

“Two 'grills' with six aerators have been tested, each one with two floats to keep aeration systems at the desired depth inside the tank”, details Mr Dávila.

Results from MicroBTech testing have shown a better dissolution of oxygen bubbles at depth, preventing the gas losses associated with conventional devices (ceramic and porous membrane among others).  In the case of O2BTech, the outdoor prototype, it has successfully replaced commercial oxygen with atmospheric oxygen, thanks to the high transfer efficiency of gas in the device.

“These aerators provide an economic and sustainable alternative for the aquaculture sector by allowing producers to replace commercial oxygen with atmospheric oxygen with the same oxygen capacity as current techniques. Besides, energy savings with this technology are up to 30 percent of the original cost resulting from the energy needed to aerate the tank,” he concludes.

Visit the AQUASEF site HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

No comments:

Post a Comment

See our data and privacy policy Click here