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

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Rosentrater, Kurt
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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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.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2015