Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


VicInAqua Report Summary

Project ID: 689427
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VicInAqua (Integrated aquaculture based on sustainable water recirculating system for the Victoria Lake Basin (VicInAqua))

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Lake Victoria is a shared water resource between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It is the second largest freshwater lake in the world which originally contained a diverse array of some 400 species. It is of key socio-economic relevance for the region since it supports a population of about 30 million people, through large scale fishing, agriculture, local industries, tourism and related activities. Despite its crucial importance Lake Victoria has suffered since decades the consequences of overexploitation of its resources –mainly of its fish stocks- and alarming pollution. An integral approach for water management providing measures and solutions on water supply and sanitation to adequately respond to both socio-economic and technical challenges is urgently required.
VicInAqua is developing innovative multipurpose self-cleaning water filtration solutions adapted for sanitation of different waste water streams, which will be reused in Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS) and Agriculture Irrigation. The technological development and demonstration at pilot scale are combined with participative measures aimed at capacity building of local and regional actors. VicInAqua solution permits a real time monitoring and timely response due to the integration of an efficient and intuitive sensor and monitoring system. Last but not least, VicInAqua concept’s sustainability is confirmed by the fact that it will be running on renewable energy through the combination of high performance photovoltaic panels (solar energy) and a biogas (optimal utilisation of surplus sludge) facility complemented with the incorporation of thermogenerators (TEG). In that way VicInAqua will generate a virtuous circle in which the implementation of novel techniques co-exists in harmony with the socio-economic needs of local people while at the same time favouring the observance of rule of law on environmental and biodiversity issues.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first 18 months, the following results were achieved:
Novel self-cleaning membranes based on polymerisable bicontinuous microemulsions (PBM) technique were prepared
A small lab-scale membrane bioreactor MBR and all necessary sensors has been developed, designed and built up.
The design of the integrated aquaculture and sanitation system was finalised.
The final pilot site has been selected and an agreement with the site owner was signed. Civil works have started.
The energy requirements were defined and it has been calculated that 14kW has to be generated by the power supply to run the total pilot system. The energy will be provided by a biogas system and a TEG unit where electricity will be produced through biogas combustion as well as a combined photovoltaic (PV) + TEG system. An experimental setup for testing thermoelectric modules with all necessary sensors (e.g. flow, temperature) was developed and built up.
The measuring, monitoring and control equipment and its configuration was finalised.
An Environmental impact assessment (EIA) report was submitted to Kenya’s National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)
A review of the socio-economic aspects of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) and Membrane Biological Reactors (MBR) technologies and their adoption in the Lake Victoria basin was performed.
Two trainings were organised: RAS training in Arusha, Tanzania and Renewable energy training in Nairobi, Kenya.
Creation of LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and Facebook page.
1 open access paper: Synthesis and antibacterial activity of polymerizable acryloyloxyalkyltriethyl ammonium salts. ChemPlusChem. © 2017 doi:10.1002/cplu.201700194

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

VicInAqua has developed an integrated sustainable approach combining RAS and domestic wastewater treatment which gives an added value by addressing the following issues:
-New RAS technologies improving water savings, sanitation and quality: The main benefit of RAS compared to classical flow-through aquaculture systems is a 10-100 times lower water consumption which is significantly contributing to water saving. RAS typically reuse >95% of their water and create almost no discharge to the natural water bodies. However, consequently wastewater concentration in RAS is 10-100 times higher. Hence RAS needs a much more efficient water treatment system.
-MBR and effective particle filtration: Accumulation of fine suspended solids and colloids in RAS can be avoided by integrating a membrane bioreactor (MBR) in the system. MBR technology has the advantage of i) high efficiency in degradation of organic compounds, ii) high nitrogen removal in combination with an upfront denitrification unit and iii) an effective particle filtration down to sub-micrometer scale. The general weakness of current MBR systems is membrane fouling which requires frequent cleaning and consequently leads to increase of operation costs.
-Self-cleaning membrane materials: A promising approach to mitigate fouling is to develop novel low-fouling self-cleaning membrane materials. This is achieved by the production of new membrane coatings.
-Novel concept on generation and use of renewable energy: Biogas will be generated from RAS system. VicInAqua is using of TEG for energy production by increasing energy efficiency of PV system by solar heated TEG and by using the additional heat generated by incineration of biogas produced through co-digestion.
-Knowledge transfer and capacity building at local level: the requirements for sustainable aquaculture development should necessarily include people-based approaches by raising awareness and enhancing capacity building among key stakeholders.
VicInAqua novel solutions are conceived as a tailored-made response to local sanitation and water supply needs of Victoria Lake inhabitants and industry thanks to an effective water management and treatment of wastewater streams. At the same time VicInAqua is based on a flexible, scalable and modular platform which enables a rapid adaption (and scale up) to better respond to the target customer group at stake. Indeed, the modularity and scalability of the system permits to have either an “all inclusive” package or a much more price-conscious “starter” solution which can be upgraded whenever necessary. Thus, initial investment costs are not to be regarded as an impediment to benefit of VicInAqua solutions.
VicInAqua societal impacts:
-Improved infrastructure in sanitation by highly efficient wastewater treatment with MBR resulting in safe water for irrigation
-Increased fish production by aquaculture and fish processing industry, expanded agriculture by increased irrigation with treated wastewater
-Aquaculture and wastewater treatment powered by renewable energies
-Lower discharge of untreated sewage into the environment of Lake Victoria, RAS will help to conserve threatened wild fish species in the Lake Victoria
-Organising information sessions to raise awareness on crucial sanitation and water supply challenges and solutions
-Establishing VicInAqua training programme to train and thus empower relevant stakeholders.
-Encouraging women to undertake a more active role in the aquaculture sector.
During the second project half, VicInAqua project partners will pursue their efforts in establishing the pilot site in Kisumu, Kenya (commissioning in May 2018) and raising awareness on VicInAqua solutions.

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