Yes – we are still alive, and no – we did not forget about posting on Developonics. We are currently just busy with publishing our research as well as already planing new aquaponics related projects. What else have we done? In March, Simon has been presenting the model on decoupled aquaponic systems that he developed at the COST Aquaponics Conference “Research Matters”. Unlike in one-loop recirculating aquaponics systems, decoupled two- or three-loop systems (i.e. comprising of a RAS & hydroponic system, or RAS, hydroponic, and remineralization system respectively) follow the principle of a one-way nutrient flow. This makes it possible to ensure optimal conditions for both fish and plants; i.e. the fish are held in optimal RAS conditions, and the hydroponic water can be supplemented with macro- and micronutrients to ensure an optimal nutrient solution.
Furthermore to close the nutrient cycle to a higher degree, RAS-derived sludge can be remineralized (i.e. utilized) in anaerobic reactors. In theory, these effluents then can be used as supplemented fertilizer for the plants – only for the plants. Simon’s whole presentation on chances and challenges of three-loop aquaponic systems can be found here. Other presentations that were given at the conference can be found here and are all worth having a look.
After finishing recent papers (that will be published on this website, as soon as they are through peer review), both Boris and Simon are going to focus more on sludge digestion methods as well as the impact of the digestates on plant growth in the next couple of months. The research collaboration includes the following partners: Wageningen University, IGB Berlin, Université de Liège, and South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences.
We are looking forward to share very interesting findings with you soon. Stay tuned! 🙂