New project aims to crack the fish sludge code

Andfjord Salmon is part of an innovative project that aims to produce biogas exclusively from fish sludge from farmed fish production.

9. November 2022

Producing biogas using only fish sludge has proven very demanding with traditional technology, which is why no one does so today.  At the same time, the aquaculture industry produces large quantities of fish sludge, both on land and at sea.

The goal of the project is to be able to run fish sludge through a biogas plant without having to use manure or other substrates. In addition to the production of renewable energy, biogas production from fish sludge will also result in lower sludge volumes. This will both reduce the amount of energy used for drying and reduce logistics costs.

Helge Krøgenes, Andfjord Salmon AS.

The idea is to use the fish sludge to produce energy that land-based fish farmers can utilise themselves, reduce the volumes that will be returned for agricultural purposes, and recycle the nutrients.

The participants in the project are leading resources from the Norwegian University of LifeSciences (NMBU), the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), as well as Holmøy Maritime, which is engaged in ocean-based fish farming, and feed producer Skretting.

"Our ambition is to develop the world's most sustainable fish farm of its kind. Being able to reuse the fish sludge that the cleaning robots collect from the bottom of Andfjord Salmon's fish farming pool, and then utilising it as a valuable resource, is an important part of our concept. It is good for both the fish in the pool and for the marine environment outside our facility," says Helge Krøgenes, who is Andfjord Salmon's representative in the project.

The company Antec Biogas AS is the project owner, while Andfjord Salmon AS is taking part as a project participant. John Morken at research institution NMBU is the project manager and NIBIO will be conducting research related to the project.

The Research Council of Norway is participating in the project with a grant of NOK 7.45 million.

The project starts in 2022 with preparations for and development of an Antec biogas reactor that will be used by researchers at NMBU and NIBIO to develop an optimal bacterial culture and bioreactor process to optimally produce biogas.  

Antec Biogas has a distinctive reactor technology, which uses a "plug and flow" system and biofilm. This provides a faster biogas process, which is particularly useful in this context.