Nutrient recovery project in piloting at recirculating aquaculture system

The 4D Scavenger® solution is currently at piloting stage at the Natural Resources Institute’s research facility in Laukaa. The project, funded by South Ostrobothnia ELY center, is a significant step towards more sustainable recirculating aquaculture system, enabling nurient recycling and enhanced water quality.

At the beginning of 2023, Weeefiner initiated a project aimed at developing the recovery of dissolved nutrients from nutrient-rich waters generated in recirculating aquaculture system. Led by Weeefiner, the project focuses on the recovery of dissolved nutrients using the innovative 4D Scavenger® technology.

“The technology has initially focused on the recovery of metals, but with the project we have been able to expand the use of the technology to nutrients as well, particularly focusing on nitrate,” says Iida Kortelahti, development chemist involved in the project.

The project has received funding from the South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment through the nutrient recycling program (Ravinteiden kierrätyksen kokeiluohjelma).

Project engineer Jouni Väli-Torala finalizing the equipment before the start of the pilot.

From laboratory development to field tests at Laukaa’s fish farm

Throughout the project, the method has been extensively validated in the laboratory. During experiments, the most effective recovery materials have been identified, and the nutrient concentrate produced from the process has been research and optimized. Building on promising laboratory results, pilot-scale tests were initiated at the Natural Resources Institute’s recirculating aquaculture system in Laukaa. The pilot testing is conducted with automated equipment, enabling continuous operation. Valuable insight about scaling the process and the long-term operation are expected from the pilot. Field testing began in November 2023 and will conclude in spring 2024.

During the pilot, automation of the equipment has been developed to enhance its efficiency. Additionally, information on the behavior of the scavengers has been obtained, leading to the development of a more effective washing process for the scavengers.

“During the pilot, we have tested new types of 4D Scavengers. We have learned about the impact of suspended solids on the process and achieved good results in implementing more efficient washing cycles,” explains Kortelahti.

Based on the results, Weeefiner has collected substantial information about the process’s operation in real conditions. Also, the technology is more prepared for up-scaling the process. The project has laid a strong foundation for developing a commercial solution.

More information about the project:

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