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Figure 1
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Figure 2
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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Team 7

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Lauren Contenta
Caitlyn Cushman
Henry Mackin
Autumn Wagner

Kristina Wagstrom


Spring Valley Student Farm

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Aquaponics, the combination of raising aquatic animals and growing plants in water, has become increasingly popular and could be used to replace traditional farming. The goal of our project is to design and build a self sustainable aquaponics system for the Spring Valley Student Farm, a part of UConn Dining Services, to provide safe, healthy, and organic vegetables for the UConn community. Using our core chemical engineering knowledge of heat and mass transfer, fluid dynamics, and unit operations, along with complex modeling by MATLAB, COMSOL, and Aspen Plus, that we were able to design an aquaponics system that is able to run in both a coupled and decoupled configuration. It is also through the understanding of biological cycles and bioreactor kinetics, we are able to form differential models of the nitrogenous compounds in the system to ensure that the crawfish within the system are able to support the plants, and the plants the crawfish. Aquaponics has the opportunity to become a leader in the new agricultural era. The continued research and development of such systems like this could help to provide millions of people with the means to sustain themselves with minimal effort, knowledge, and resources. Amid a food and resource crisis in thousands of areas worldwide, it is important that we continue to develop sustainable systems to provide for the always-growing population.