The project has identified the aquaculture sector as a promising niche market for hydrogen and fuel cells technologies.
Many inland aquaculture facilities in Europe are located in areas without access to the grid, using energy derived from fossil fuels. In addition, these facilities become highly dependent on external oxygen supply in order to keep a constant dissolved oxygen rate during production.
Therefore, the LIFE AQUASEF project is working to develop solutions to reduce both energy and oxygen dependence that also lead to unique outputs of water vapor and zero CO2 emissions.
The project is doing this through the process of water electrolysis which involves the dissociation of the water molecule into its two basic components (hydrogen and oxygen) by applying electric power.
Generally, the electrolysis process is used to obtain hydrogen, a gas with high added value as energy carrier, off-venting the oxygen into the atmosphere. However, in this project, water electrolysis is focused on generating oxygen as well as hydrogen.
“The added value of using this technology is that both gases generated can be used: oxygen for supplying the hatcheries, and hydrogen for producing electricity, heat and/or mechanical work,” explained expert David Solera, coordinator of the project LIFE AQUASEF.
The project has found that energy savings due to this innovation are around 30 per cent of actual energy costs in aquaculture facilities.