Project ID



Aquaponics offer promise as an alternative crop and protein production system for smaller farm operations. This project examined several aspects of aquaponic production: food safety, how UV treatments might mitigate food safety issues, what levels of profitability might be attained, and what the environmental impacts are for aquaponics operations.

Key Question

1) Can aquaponics be profitable in Iowa? 2) Is aquaponics truly environmentally friendly? 3) What food safety threats are there for aquaponics, and how can we mitigate them?


The PIs approached these questions by building six research-scale aquaponics systems and evaluating the resource use and production yields from these systems. Using that production, the team modeled what a scaled-up system would look like and evaluated it for economic efficiencies through a techno-economic analysis (TEA) and life cycle assessment (LCA). The results indicated there is hope for profitability at a commercial scale.

Principal Investigator(s)

D. Allen Pattillo


Kurt A. Rosentrater; Angela M. Shaw

Year of Grant Completion