Aquaponics is not only a forward-looking technology but it has also been proposed as a tool for teaching natural sciences at all school levels, from primary school to university. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has become a widely accepted method of evaluating the environmental impact of products and services. In this context, the aims of this paper were:1) to create a low-price AP system for possible use as didactic tool using recovered material; 2) to evaluate the environmental impact of a micro AP model (1.5 m2) through LCA analysis; 3) to verify whether this micro AP model is representative of full-scale AP systems (>50 m2) in terms of water quality and water consumption. Both, the water quality and the average daily water consumption of our system were in line with data reported in literature for larger aquaponics. LCA shows that materials and energy flows linked to the system management practices and energy consumption principally contribute to environmental impacts. The cumulative annual energy demand of micro aquaponic system was 1040.5 kWh; assuming that this system was built for a class of 25 students, the energy consumption of the learning activity using the proposed micro aquaponic system would be 41.6 kWh student−1 year−1. The results showed that the micro aquaponic system reliably mimics a full-scale unit and that it is a teaching tool with a relatively low environmental impact.

Life cycle assessment of a micro aquaponic system for educational purposes built using recovered material

Forchino, Andrea A.;Pastres, Roberto;
2018

Abstract

Aquaponics is not only a forward-looking technology but it has also been proposed as a tool for teaching natural sciences at all school levels, from primary school to university. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has become a widely accepted method of evaluating the environmental impact of products and services. In this context, the aims of this paper were:1) to create a low-price AP system for possible use as didactic tool using recovered material; 2) to evaluate the environmental impact of a micro AP model (1.5 m2) through LCA analysis; 3) to verify whether this micro AP model is representative of full-scale AP systems (>50 m2) in terms of water quality and water consumption. Both, the water quality and the average daily water consumption of our system were in line with data reported in literature for larger aquaponics. LCA shows that materials and energy flows linked to the system management practices and energy consumption principally contribute to environmental impacts. The cumulative annual energy demand of micro aquaponic system was 1040.5 kWh; assuming that this system was built for a class of 25 students, the energy consumption of the learning activity using the proposed micro aquaponic system would be 41.6 kWh student−1 year−1. The results showed that the micro aquaponic system reliably mimics a full-scale unit and that it is a teaching tool with a relatively low environmental impact.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3714408
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