Intensive aquaculture needs to adopt techniques that are able to contribute towards sustainability. Closed systems that employ water recirculation can combine intensive production with environmental sustainability, since there is no exchange of water or discharge of effluents into the environment. In order to achieve this, effective filtration systems are required to ensure that the water quality is satisfactory for the cultivation of aquatic organisms. Chitosan, an industrial waste material derived from crustacean farming, is a renewable natural material that is biodegradable and possesses adsorbent characteristics. In this work, chitosan foam was incorporated in filters and was evaluated as an adsorbent of aquaculture pollutants, adding value to the material and at the same time providing a use for industrial waste. The foam was characterized by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy, apparent density, and water absorption capacity. It was used to remove ammonia, nitrite, orthophosphate, and turbidity from aquaculture effluents. The foam consisted of a bilayer with smooth and porous sides, which presented low density, flexibility, and high water absorption capacity. The best proportion of the foam, in terms of the mass of foam per volume of solution (% m v−1), was 0.10, which resulted in removal of 32.8, 57.2, 89.5, and 99.9% of ammonia, nitrite, orthophosphate, and turbidity, respectively. This biopolymer produced is biodegradable, and when saturated with organic compounds from aquaculture, and no longer suitable for reuse as a filter material, it can be employed as a fertilizer, hence closing the sustainability cycle of the aquaculture production chain.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 27, 2017
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