Aquaponics is generally regarded as a sustainable practice, but its environmental burdens were not yet deeply investigated. In this study, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to assess the environmental impacts of two hypothetical coupled aquaponics systems (CAPS): Raft System (RAFT) and Media-Filled Beds System (MFBS). Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) were considered as cultivated species in both systems. The Simapro© software V.8.0 was used for calculation. The comparison between the two virtual systems indicated the floating technique as the less impacting one. Even though energy consumption appears to be higher in the floating system, LCA results were markedly influenced by the extensive use of inert materials in MFSB. In both systems, contribution analyses underlined that the main environmental impacts are related to infrastructures, electricity and fish feed. The LCA analyses carried out in this study highlights that the choice of less impacting materials, and the optimization of management practices, should be taken as priorities in order to reduce environmental impacts of this activity.

Aquaponics and sustainability: The comparison of two different aquaponic techniques using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Forchino, Andrea Alberto;BRIGOLIN, Daniele;PASTRES, Roberto
2017-01-01

Abstract

Aquaponics is generally regarded as a sustainable practice, but its environmental burdens were not yet deeply investigated. In this study, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to assess the environmental impacts of two hypothetical coupled aquaponics systems (CAPS): Raft System (RAFT) and Media-Filled Beds System (MFBS). Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) were considered as cultivated species in both systems. The Simapro© software V.8.0 was used for calculation. The comparison between the two virtual systems indicated the floating technique as the less impacting one. Even though energy consumption appears to be higher in the floating system, LCA results were markedly influenced by the extensive use of inert materials in MFSB. In both systems, contribution analyses underlined that the main environmental impacts are related to infrastructures, electricity and fish feed. The LCA analyses carried out in this study highlights that the choice of less impacting materials, and the optimization of management practices, should be taken as priorities in order to reduce environmental impacts of this activity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3687710
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