Two weeks ago, we have attended the Aquaculture Europe 2017 conference in Dubrovnik. I (Boris) presented our latest findings with respect to sludge mineralisation in aquaponic systems. It is a challenge to treat fish sludge within aquaponic systems to reduce the quantity of waste. Even more important is the objective to recover the valuable nutrients that are trapped in the sludge. Nutrient recovery by sludge mineralisation constitutes a great opportunity to complement the hydroponic nutrient solution in a sustainable manner. Our results showed that digesting sludge under anaerobic condition using specific UASB reactors can reduce the amount of sludge (i.e. total solids). For efficient nutrient mineralisation, a post treatment in an acidic reactor is required.
Simon presented his findings derived from his numerical model (for e.g. sizing purposes). His model deals with the theoretical implementation of an additional desalination loop. Before investing in large scale aquaponic systems, it is necessary to show the mass balances within multi-loop systems comprehensibly. This is especially the case, as different climatic conditions have a high impact on the respective nutrient and water flows.
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