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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Leetown, West Virginia » Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318696

Research Project: Developing and Refining Technologies for Sustainable Fish Growth in Closed Containment Systems

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

Title: New technology turns wastes into revenue at Indiana perch farm

item Summerfelt, Steven - Freshwater Institute
item Mccowan, Norman - Bell Aquaculture Inc

Submitted to: Hatchery International Magazine
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2013
Publication Date: 11/1/2013
Citation: Summerfelt, S.T., Mccowan, N. 2013. New technology turns wastes into revenue at Indiana perch farm. Hatchery International Magazine. 14(6):32-33.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Bell Aquaculture is vertically integrated and has closed the perch lifecycle within environmentally friendly land-based closed-containment systems. This means that Bell Aquaculture controls the broodstock, spawning, fry culture, grow-out, and 52 week per year harvest of the perch, plus the fish processing to create value added fillet products. To create additional revenue, Bell Aquaculture is converting what would normally be considered waste streams, i.e., fish processing offal and thickened fish manure and dissolved nutrients, into fertilizer. Bell Aquaculture converts the left-overs from the fish processing line into an OMRI listed organic fertilizer (FishRichTM). Dealing with the yellow perch production facility's point source of waste has required installing processes to capture, dewater, transfer, store, and reclaim the nutrients that are found in the concentrated waste biosolids. The waste biosolids (manure and uneaten feed) are concentrated either in the recirculating system overflow or the system's drum filter or radial flow settler backwash flows. A combined biosolids flow averaging 200-400 gal/min is pumped to the new Nutrient Capture Facility. Four gravity thickening settlers (all piped in parallel) are used to capture and dewater these biosolids. The biosolids slurry (about 10% solids dry weight) is hauled as liquid slurry in a transport tank truck or trailer to nearby corn and soybean fields for beneficial reuse of the nutrients. To minimize hauling costs and reach additional markets for the reclaimed nutrients, Bell Aquaculture is investigating technologies to dewater the biosolids slurry into a cake that can be sold directly to consumers, horticulturists, or row crop farmers.