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Tiny Bubbles

NIFA grant will support aeration’s potential for better fish and plant yields

  • 27 January 2021
  • Author: Mark Berthold
  • Number of views: 784
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Tiny Bubbles

The burgeoning fields of aquaculture and aquaponics hold vast potential for growing food. Yet, the efficacy of these microbial-mediated processes is governed by the availability of dissolved oxygen in water. Generally, oxygen has poor solubility in the aqueous phase, which has a negative effect on fish growth and plant yields.

New funding from the USDA-NIFA’s Water Quantity and Quality Program may expand our understanding of how nanobubbles could improve aeration and oxygen supplies. Under the grant, Samir Khanal of the Dept. of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering will apply the technology to these aqueous systems. His goal is to uncover new opportunities for improving fish and plant yields – with concomitant improvements in water quality.

“There is a pressing need to develop an alternative to the current highly energy-intensive conventional aeration,” says Samir. “Nanobubble technology has a potential to revolutionize aquaculture and aquaponic systems, with higher productivity and resource recovery.”

Samir was initially awarded CTAHR’s Team Science grant, which was critically important to obtaining preliminary data for his grant proposal to NIFA.

“Thanks to the CTAHR and NIFA grants, we hope our findings will benefit existing Hawaiʻi businesses, as well as a new generation of growers, across the state and beyond,” he adds.

View the full grant.

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