On-board Electrochemical Oxygen Generator for Live Shipments of Wild Seafood and Aquaculture Products

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Giner, Inc.
89 Rumford Avenue Array
Newton, MA 02466
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

U.S. live fish exports are growing and have further potential for growth. In 2009 live fish U.S. exports were on the order of $44 million. In 2012, there was unique opportunity in the live eel export market and there were reports of $100-150 million in exports in that species alone. The overall goal of this project is to provide active oxygenation during the transportation of live aquaculture products, wild seafood and wild fresh water finfish, particularly when the living product is shipped in water. Active oxygenation (providing oxygen and a means of dissolving it in water) is recognized as essential in all other aspects of aquatic production. It is required to keep fish alive outside of natural bodies of water and with fish densities (mass of fish per volume of water) higher than those naturally occurring in the wild. However, because active oxygenation methods can be hardware and power intensive, requiring oxygen lines/tanks, spargers and pumps, for shipping purposes active oxygenation is usually omitted. Without oxygenation, fish densities must be kept low and transport times kept short to minimize mortality. This practice decreases the ability for the aquaculture and fisheries industries to service all relevant national and international markets efficiently and profitably. For the Phase I feasibility project, the goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of designing a compact, low power oxygen generator that is compatible with a standard shipping container that is rugged and safe for ground and air transport. The goal is to provide oxygen on demand at the rate needed to sustain live fish at a density at least double the current standard. A unique aspect of this project is the collaborative effort of an engineering company (the grantee), an aquaculture specialist (consultant) and a live product shipping company with all three based in New England for ease of collaboration. The innovation of this project is the careful tailoring and integration of novel, advanced oxygen generation technology into a state-of-the-art shipping package for the live fish shipment application.