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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE LAND-BASED AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

Title: Evaluation of a Membrane Biological Reactor for Reclaiming Water, Alkalinity, Salts, Phosphorus, and Protein Contained in a High-Strength Aquacultural Wastewater

Authors
item Sharrer, Mark -
item Rishel, Kata -
item Summerfelt, Steven -

Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 13, 2010
Publication Date: February 11, 2010
Citation: Sharrer, M.J., Rishel, K., Summerfelt, S.T. 2010. Evaluation of a Membrane Biological Reactor for Reclaiming Water, Alkalinity, Salts, Phosphorus, and Protein Contained in a High-Strength Aquacultural Wastewater. Bioresource Technology. 101:4322-4330.

Interpretive Summary: Membrane biological reactors (MBRs) can effectively reclaim water, alkalinity, salts, phosphorus, and protein contained in aquacultural wastewater. MBRs appear able to process high strength wastewater backwashed from a water recirculating system sufficiently for its reuse. Although MBR technology involves high fixed and variable costs, the capacity to treat and reuse wastewater can be beneficial especially as an alternative to discharging to a publicly owned treatment works or if reuse of costly saline water in a land-based recirculation aquaculture system is desired. Further, locating an MBR treatment plant adjacent to the fish culture facility allows for effective water reuse under biosecure conditions. Finally, an MBR can reclaim backwash flows and recover valuable resources while significantly reducing a fish farm's potential for environment impact.

Technical Abstract: The capacity of a membrane biological reactor to provide nitrification, denitrification, and enhanced biological phosphorus removal of a high-strength aquaculture backwash flow (control condition), or the same flow amended with 100 mg/L of NO3-N and 3 mg/L of dissolved P (test condition), was assessed using only endogenous carbon. Permeate TSS and cBOD5 concentrations were < 1 mg/L under control and test conditions, achieving 99.97 to 100% removal efficiencies, respectively. Permeate TN concentrations were 1.8 +/- 0.5 mg/L and 2.1 +/- 1.4 mg/L, while permeate TP concentrations were 0.05 +/- 0.01 mg/L and 0.10 +/- 0.03 mg/L, respectively, under control and test conditions. Our findings suggest that permeate flow could be reclaimed to recycle alkalinity, salts, and heat for fish culture and that the waste activated sludge does not produce metals concentrations that would prevent its land application (reclaiming phosphorus) or prevent its use as a protein source in animal feeds.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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