Aerobic and Anaerobic Treatments for Aquaponic Sludge Reduction and Mineralisation

Boris Delaide, Hendrik Monsees, Amit Gross, Simon Goddek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recirculating aquaculture systems, as part of aquaponic units, are effective in producing aquatic animals with a minimal water consumption through effective treatment stages. Nevertheless, the concentrated sludge produced after the solid filtration stage, comprising organic matter and valuable nutrients, is most often discarded. One of the latest developments in aquaponic technology aims to reduce this potential negative environmental impact and to increase the nutrient recycling by treating the sludge on-site. For this purpose, microbial aerobic and anaerobic treatments, dealt with either individually or in a combined approach, rovide very promising opportunities to simultaneously reduce the organic waste as well as to recover valuable nutrients such as phosphorus. Anaerobic sludge treatments additionally offer the possibility of energy production since a by-product of this process is biogas, i.e. mainly methane. By applying these additional treatment steps in aquaponic units, the water and nutrient recycling efficiency is improved and the dependency on external fertiliser can be reduced, thereby enhancing the sustainability of the system in terms of resource utilisation. Overall, this can pave the way for the economic improvement of aquaponic systems because costs for waste disposal and fertiliser acquisition are decreased.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAquaponics Food Production Systems
Subtitle of host publicationCombined Aquaculture and Hydroponic Production Technologies for the Future
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030159436
ISBN (Print)9783030159429
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Mass balance
  • Microbial sludge conversion
  • Nutrient recycling
  • Phosphorus
  • Sludge recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Social Sciences


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