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Development of Highly Productive Zero-Waste Food Production Platform Based On Microfiltration and Nutrient Recycling

Research Theme
Agriculture, Food and Environment
Lead Researcher
Dr. Nick Savidov
Duration of Project
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Engage
Alberta Innovates Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE)
1722497 Alberta Ltd.
Areas of Expertise
Water Quality
Project Description

Lethbridge College partnered with 1722497 Alberta Inc., to develop a zero-waste food production platform based on microfiltration and nutrient recycling designed to provide the highest yield output in the greenhouse space.

Results of this project found that introducing carbon (biochar) as an additional filter led to highly efficient removal of the suspended solids on the micro and nanometer scale. Carbon can be utilized as a filtration media to decrease total suspended solids (TSS) in the nutrient solution produced from digestion in aerobic bioreactors and the liquid fish effluent. This material can also be used as a biofilter to remove toxic compounds like ammonium

Although the carbon-based filters are self-regenerating and can be used indefinitely, after 2-3 months, the material inoculated with bacteria in the process can also be used as a slow-release fertilizer for field and greenhouse applications and as a source of the inoculum for aquaculture and aquaponic startups, creating an additional market niche for agricultural byproducts. The discovered process can revolutionize water treatment in various industries where it is necessary.