Project

Aquatic biomass for the circulair & biobased economy

The worldwide increasing demand for food, feed, energy and industrial products increasingly threatens natural ecosystems and global climate. Together policy makers, industries and the scientific community are challenged to seek solutions to mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions, to increase biomass production worldwide and reduce the environmental effects of industrial and agricultural production. Aquatic plants are well known for their high productivity, high protein concentration and interesting chemical components for the B&CE.

E.g. protein productivity per annum per ha may produce up to 6 times more protein per ha than soy. Moreover, aquatic biomass production does not necessarily compete with crop production. Even though promising, aquatic farming is still in its infancy. E.g. as found in earlier research at Wageningen University & Research, chemical composition may strongly vary over the seasons, imposing difficulties with extraction procedures. In addition, high productivity and high protein concentrations are intrinsically coupled to high inputs with possible negative effects on the environment. In order to close nutrient cycles the use of waste streams as nutrient source needs to be further explored. For aquatic farming systems to become economically viable, farm management has to be optimized towards the desired products with minimum inputs.

Aquatic plants are well known for their high productivity and interesting chemical compounds. For aquatic farming systems to become successful, efficient and cost-effective extraction procedures are needed and optimized for the chemical composition as related to management and seasonal variation. To further boost productivity and reduce production costs and environmental impact, farm management with respect to fertilization also needs to be optimized with attention for the use of waste streams as nutrient source. For aquatic farming systems to become economically viable, farm management has to be optimized towards the desired products with minimum inputs. As part of a whole value chain approach of aquatic farming systems, we will analyze the relationship between seasonal variation in productivity (using waste streams) and chemical composition and its consequences for extraction procedures

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