Aquaculture continues to expand its production capability worldwide. Currently, half of the world’s consumed marine life comes from farms. The systems required to successfully grow marine life at high densities generally requires both large capital investment and substantial operating costs (oxygen generation and suitable pipe work, oxygen back up in case of power outage and ammonia removal are the major costs). However, the majority of the world’s aquaculture market is in China (more than 60%). The majority of these farms are “low end” facilities. That is, using water sourced from local water tables or rivers (both of which are generally fairly poor in quality) and “cheap” aeration and recirculation systems (usually a combination of paddle wheels and surface aerators). Whilst these systems have been shown to work and are cheap to purchase and operate, they are not sufficient to allow the increased stocking densities required to make the endeavour consistently economically viable for the developing countries famers in addition to enabling the large scale production required for the first world.

The incorporation of fluidic oscillator generated microbubbles via standard EPDM wastewater diffusers offers a low cost (capitally and energetically) solution to this problem. In addition to providing efficient aeration these microbubbles also enhance local and global mixing. Enhanced mixing within aquaculture systems leads to increased yields due to the reduction in stratification and resulting increased volume of oxygen rich water available for the crop to utilise.

Whilst the low end of the market has been thus far tested, the incorporation of pure oxygen microbubbles for high end aquaculture systems is also possible. The incorporation of microbubbles into these systems substantially increases oxygen transfer efficiency over conventional systems and therefore able to sustain higher stocking densities.

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