Life cycle assessment (LCA) and Techno-economic analysis (TEA) of tilapia-basil aquaponics

Xie, Kun
Rosentrater, Kurt
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Aquaponics is the system combining hydroponic and aquaculture, in which fish and plants are raised together, and they can be beneficial from each other as well as to each other. When the system is maintained properly and is in a balance status, aquaponics will mimic the natural ecosystem, use much less water than traditional aquaculture, and have almost no effluent. As a result, it is thought more environmentally friendly and sustainable. In this study, both Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA) of a tilapia and basil aquaponic system were conducted. Three scales, including a truly running system, pilot scale, and commercial scale of aquaponics were considered and analyzed. This study provided environmental impacts and profitability for operating aquaponics in the Midwest of U.S. It also showed that the operating scale and basil price had obvious effect on profits. When the scale was large enough, such as with the grow bed area of 75.6 m2 and when the basil price equals to or is great than $60/kg, operating aquaponics was profitable.


This proceeding is from 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Paper No. 152188617, pages 1-30 (doi: 10.13031/aim.20152188617). St. Joseph, Mich.: ASABE. Posted with permission.

Aquaponics, Life cycle assessment (LCA), Techno-economic analysis (TEA), Tilapia, Basil, Greenhouse gas emission, cost, profit