EU deammonification research project "DeammRecirc" with MFFASA as industrial partner reaches conclusion.

July, 2013


The EU FP7 Research for SME project DeammRecirc , aimed to remove nitrogen from recirculated water used in aquaculture through development of a deammonification treatment. The 28 month project ended in April 2013.

The project has been coordinated by Cyklar-Stulz GMBH, a Swiss company specialising in deammonification technology to remove nitrogen in the municipal and industrial waste water sector. The consortium also consisted of the following Industrial partners: Formoplast Kunststoffbehalterbau und –vertrieb GMBH (Germany), ARAconsult GMBH (Austria), Tecnologias y Equipos para el Medio Ambiente, s.l. (Spain), Hardingsmolt AS (Norway), Anglesey Aquaculture Ltd (UK) and Marine Finfish Farmers Association of South Africa (S. Africa). In addition, the consortium included four RTD partners: Teknologisk Institutt AS (Norway), Aqua Consult Ingenieur GMBH (Germany), Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management (ISAH) at Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany) and Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research (CSAR), Swansea University (UK).

The project has successfully grown its own sea salt adapted inoculum from European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)) sludge. A methodology has been developed so fish farms can grow their own inoculum in the future. This inoculum has then been used in the DeammRecirc prototype, which has been developed within the project. This consists of a pre-treatment reactor, where RAS system water and sludge are mixed and partial denitrification occurs, transforming nitrate to nitrite. This effluent then is pumped to an anammox reactor (the main treatment) containing the inoculum sludge, enriched in anammox bacteria. Here nitrite and ammonium react to form nitrogen gas (the anammox process) and denitrification also occurs. The DeammRecirc prototype is semi-automated for use at the pilot plant but would be fully automated with a more comprehensive control system when transferred to commercial farms. Ammonium and nitrite have been dosed at higher than natural RAS rates in this project to keep enriching the anammox bacteria within the sludge. Therefore the post treatment has not yet been tested, which would complete the recirculation of water back to the fish tanks. Therefore more research is needed to complete development but the DeammRecirc project has taken major steps on the way to transfer the deammonification system to recirculation farms, allowing reduction in high system nitrate concentrations and using sludge, a waste product in the process. For more details , please see the project web-site:

Aquaculture in perspective

Andre Bok | July, 2012


Recent article published in Environment magazine - Today, almost 50% of all fishery products (freshwater and marine) come from aquaculture. Marine aquaculture, or ‘mari- culture’, is the term given to the agricultural activity of cultivating any plant or animal in salt water. It is a broad term incorporating the full spectrum of farming activities from ‘extensive’ to ‘intensive’ and ‘capture based’ to ‘re-seeding’.