Thursday, July 19, 2018

20/07/2018: Aeration with ceramic micro bubble diffusers

By Dietmar Firzlaff, aquaFUTURE, USA

One of the oldest technologies known to mankind is the use of ceramics.

For around 25,000 years ceramic clay materials have been taken from the earth, shaped, fired and used by humans for purposes of making pottery for storing food and water, ovens for cooking and melting metals to fashion into tools and weapons. Ceramic technology has advanced significantly over the past few decades.

The development of high temperature ceramics for space shuttle tiles, electrical insulators, bullet proof vests, artificial hip joints and superconductors for electronics all have made great impacts in advancing civilisation’s overall technology. Unfortunately, very little has been done in the past 30 years to improve traditional ceramic micro bubble diffusers for aquaculture.

Since the invention of a mechanical air pump in 1908 that opened the doors for the beneficial aeration in aquatic systems, traditional air stones were invented. These have been fashioned from limewood or porous stones.

Although fish farming has advanced in recent years and the most common methods used for aeration have been proven to be energy intensive (paddle wheels) or inefficient due to the formation of large bubbles as shown by porous hoses or even membrane diffusers, the costs of this equipment soon outweigh the long-term operational costs of wasted electricity and oxygen. These methods of aeration are unfortunately still popular and available due to misleading advertisements, insufficient infrastructure and possible lack of finance to upgrade to a modern practical technique.

In the 1980s, with advances in industrial porous ceramics for water filtration and catalysts, micro bubble diffusers were developed to address the need for more efficient and reliable aeration in fish farming. Fish stocking capacity is primarily limited by oxygen availability and therefore needs a reliable system to boost oxygen levels. These newly developed rectangular ceramic diffusers have traditionally been used in intensive fish farming to aerate water effectively during the transporting of fish, as a backup system when there is a pump or power failure, or simply to increase Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels when required: e.g. during feeding or weather heat spells when fish require more oxygen and DO levels drop.

Read the full article, HERE.

Visit the aquaFUTURE website, HERE.

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