Principal Investigator
Maria Teresa Borges

Leader Institution
SINTEF - Fisheries and Aquaculture, Norway

Research Teams



RASORGMAT: Developing water treatment technology for land-based closed containment systems (LBCC-RAS) to increase efficiency by reducing the negative effects of organic matter

This project aims to develop strategies and water treatment technology for removal of particulate organic matter (POM) in land-based closed containment recirculation systems for aquaculture (LBCC-RAS). This will increase efficiency by reducing waste products, off-flavour compounds and carrying capacity of bacteria. Removal of POM is the key to improve the production and product quality of fish produced in LBCC-RAS. Organic matter is the determining factor of the amount of heterotrophic bacteria that can be sustained in the LBCC-RAS. Nitrification efficiency of the bio-filter is affected by the competition for space and oxygen with heterotrophic bacteria. In addition, high amounts of organic matter reduces the efficiency of both UV and ozone disinfection. Heterotrophic bacterial degradation affect the consumption of O2, the production of CO2 and ammonia, contribute to water colour and bacteria producing off-flavour compounds, eventually reducing the value of fish and caviar. The effects of high and low removal efficiency of organic matter on the effects on dissolved CO2, bacteria and off-flavour prevalence will be investigated. Both tank dynamics and water treatment in the RAS loop will be used to obtain high removal efficiency. Multiple drains with optimized geometry and hydraulics will be designed for early particles collection and to be used as a strategy in combination with techniques such as advanced membrane filtration. The effectiveness of a membrane is dependent on several ambient conditions and fouling is a challenge for membrane performance. We will aim to adapt the membrane technology, optimize the operation and maintenance in a LBCC-RAS. A close collaboration with fish-producing companies safeguard that the project is applicable for commercial aquaculture.