Hydrogen Energy Through the Use of Aquaculture
Hydrogen Energy Through the Use of Aquaculture
author Added by FuelCellsWorks, September 15, 2016

LIFE+AQUASEF is an integrated innovation project which connects different actions to improve energetic and environmental sustainability in aquaculture.

The project aims to reduce emissions from aquaculture production through the development of innovative technologies and by combining best operational practices. Maximising synergies with key on-going processes at the site will benefit the mitigation strategy, i.e.: microalgae culture will provide feed supplies to fish nutrition and it will help to fix a large part of the CO2 generated by the boilers used to warm water for the hatcheries.

These technologies will focus on demonstrating a cost-effective way to:

1. Reduce CO2 emissions from energy production through the implementation of renewable energy system (solar photovoltaic and wind power turbine) used to power pumping system, site lighting system and mix tank systems.
2. Produce Oxygen in-situ through electrolysis ensuring necessary ventilation in hatcheries.
3. Achieve efficient and low-cost ventilation through a micro-bubble nozzles technology.
4. Use the excess of hydrogen generated in the electrolysis process to generate additional power.

The project also focus on the recovery of residues for valorization by injecting CO2 into microalgae culture where is fixed and it becomes in feed supplement.

Specifically, the project will demonstrate: 

  • The possibility of optimising energy consumption by implementing best management practices and using renewable energies for three power generators (two photovoltaic and one aeolian);
  • The environmental advantages of using hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the aquaculture sector. An electrolyser of 5 kW powered by renewable energies will be tested for the self-production of oxygen; 
  • Best practices for aeration and oxygenation in aquaculture – high efficiency aerators will be installed; and Possibilities of fixing the CO2 emitted by autoctonous microalgae cultivation. 
  • The project will demonstrate how microalgae have an added value as diet for fishes and molluscs and as a natural element in the purification of effluents. 

Expected results: 

  • Reduced GHG emissions from the aquaculture facility by 46.6 tonnes of CO2 per year by using renewable energy sources to cover at least 10% of the energy demand; 
  • Reduced GHG emissions by 56 tonnes CO2 per year through the implementation of energy-efficiency measures in the operation and control of the equipment, reducing the energy consumption of the plant by 20%;
  • Increased efficiency by self-production of oxygen through renewable sources (hydrogen cell), producing energy savings of 15.878 kWh/year and reduced GHG emissions by 4.72 tonnes CO2 /year; Improved diet of fishes and molluscs thanks to the addition of microalgae making it unnecessary to supply additives, which generate residues on the water tanks;
  • Fixed CO2 emitted in the gases combustion by canalising and supplying this CO2 to the microalgae cultivation tanks; and
  • A good practice guide on the implementation of new technologies in aquaculture facilities.

Fuel Cell:

The company involved with the fuel cell aspects of this project will be Ariema Energia y Medioambiente S.L.

ARIEMA, a technological spin-off of the Spanish institute for aerospace technologies (INTA), was founded in 2002. It has participated in R&D projects on energy efficiency, energy uses and energy storage. In particular, it is a leader in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies as well as a specialist in carrying out efficiency-energy studies of the fishing industry. It also has a wealth of experience is carrying out energy audits in this sector. It has performed energy audits in fishing vessels – in cooperation with efficiency energy institute of the region of Galicia (INEGA) – in aquaculture plants and in other primary sector industries.