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Research Project: Support the Viability and Expansion of Land-Based Closed-Containment Aquaculture

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

Title: Anaerobic digestion challenges and resource recovery opportunities from land-based aquaculture waste and seafood processing byproducts: A review

item CHOUDHURY, ABHINAV - Freshwater Institute
item LEPINE, CHRISTINE - Freshwater Institute
item WITARSA, FREDDY - Colorado Mesa University
item GOOD, CHRISTOPHER - Freshwater Institute

Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/7/2022
Publication Date: 4/9/2022
Citation: Choudhury, A., Lepine, C., Witarsa, F., Good, C. 2022. Anaerobic digestion challenges and resource recovery opportunities from land-based aquaculture waste and seafood processing byproducts: A review. Bioresource Technology. 354:127144.

Interpretive Summary: Waste-waters and byproducts from aquaculture and seafood processing facilities are an abundant yet underutilized resource for energy and recovery of valuable compounds. While anaerobic digestion (AD) and different techniques for recovering nutrients and biomolecules from these waste streams have shown promising results, this review illuminates some of the remaining challenges associated with applying these technologies that require further attention. Techno-socio-economic approaches that combine AD and resource recovery and successful pilot-scale and full-scale demonstration projects may provide the necessary impetus for the fishery industry to adopt these technologies, thereby promoting a circular economy and sustainable growth.

Technical Abstract: The unprecedented demand for seafood has resulted in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), a highly intensive but potentially more sustainable fish farming method. However, intensification also results in concentrated waste streams of fecal matter and uneaten feed. Harvesting and processing vast quantities of fish also leads to the production of byproducts, further creating challenges for cost-effective disposal and environmentally sound waste treatment. Recent research indicates that anaerobic digestion (AD), a practical means of waste treatment in agricultural and wastewater industries, may provide a viable solution. Limited research on AD of freshwater, brackish, and saline wastewater from RAS facilities and co-digestion of fishery byproducts has shown promising results but with considerable operational and process stability issues. This review discusses recent research, specific concerns, and potential solutions associated with the digestion of RAS waste solids and fishery byproducts. Opportunities for recovering valuable organic compounds and nutrients are also discussed.