• Teesside University develops game-changing micro-bubble technology set to transform the aquaculture sector

Water/Wastewater

Teesside University develops game-changing micro-bubble technology set to transform the aquaculture sector

Oct 22 2021

Teesside University is calling on businesses to deliver a proof of concept to show the potential of their ground-breaking new micro-bubble aeration technology, which is set to revolutionise the farming of seafood. 

Developed at Teesside University and University of Malaya by Dr Faik Hamad, Associate Professor in Engineering and Dr Poo Balan Ganesan, Associate Professor in Engineering, this new technology uses a generator to produce microscopic bubbles which release free radicals and boost dissolved oxygen levels in water, allowing it to cleanse itself of waste products and increase productivity of seafood.

Wastewater contains harmful micro-organisms, from viruses to bacteria, capable of infecting animals or humans and leading to disease, reduced biodiversity, and lower food yields within aquaculture. Micro-bubble technologies offer a safer, chemical-free, and low-energy alternative to existing water disinfection methods. Developing countries will be able to access this revolutionary technology; barriers to adoption are low and operating costs are expected to be lower than existing solutions.   

Teesside University is using konfer – the free-to-use innovation brokerage platform operated by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) –  to find commercial partners with which to demonstrate their micro-bubble aeration technology. Konfer harnesses AI-powered, smart-matching technology to connect universities with relevant businesses, making it easier and quicker to develop commercial partnerships and maximising the impact of UK research capabilities.

Thanks to konfer, Teesside University has already engaged in discussions with technology developer Nova Q, a company dedicated to developing sustainable technologies within agriculture, aquaculture, disinfection, renewables, and wastewater. 

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive Officer at NCUB, said: “Teesside University’s micro-bubble project exemplifies the academic excellence and leading innovation present at our universities across the country, deploying out-of-the-box thinking to reduce marine pollution and promote healthier aquaculture. As the country seeks to harness innovation to tackle major environmental and societal challenges, it is crucial that the relevant universities and businesses can collaborate easily, rapidly and in a targeted way, and at konfer, we want to do just this.”

Dr Faik Hamad, Associate Professor in Engineering at Teesside University, said: “This project is incredibly significant, as it intends to reduce the environmental and health-related impacts of wastewater, with game-changing implications for the aquaculture sector. Water is essential to everything from agriculture to industrial processes; as the issue of pathogenic micro-organisms becomes more prevalent, micro-bubble aeration technology has the potential to tackle this issue in a way that is sustainable and safe. We are delighted to be working with konfer, who have provided us with simplified access to a network of thousands of businesses.”

Dr Poo Balan Ganesan, Associate Professor in Engineering at the University of Malaya said: “At the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, micro-bubble aeration has been tested for aquaculture species such as marine white shrimp and Giant freshwater prawn. The investigations show significant improvements on the growth of the species (by 30%) and a reduction of food conversion ratio.”


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