Colorado Patent of the Month – February 2022

Aquaponic systems use the waste created while growing fish in tanks to improve plant growth systems. A plants’ most limiting nutrient is nitrogen. Aquatic systems have an abundance of nitrogen as fish excrete it in the form of ammonia or organic nitrogen. Dr. Ron Malone of Malone Industries, LLC has developed a nutrient generation module that supports this nutrient transfer process.

This aquaculture system has a fish tank, floating media bio-clarifier, and a mineralization tank. This design effectively supplies nutrient rich water completely free of suspended solids to the hydroponic system. A floating bead bio-clarifier has a sludge compartment that connects to the mineralization tank. The effluent moves back and forth between these two systems, returning a nutrient rich water with iteratively less solid particles. This is driven by a series of pneumatic pressures generated by the bio-clarifier’s backwashing sequence. As this process continues, the sludge and captured solids are moved to a lower internal sludge compartment for temporary storage. It can then be digested by an aerobic sludge digester over the course of 10 days. The water is then transferred into a connected hydroponic system.

With this system, a true cooperation between fish and plants can be achieved in a controlled setting. By reducing the limitation of nitrogen, the hydroponic system can experience improved growth rate and yield. The aquaculture system requires cleaning or water-cycling regardless, so using the by-product waste enhances sustainability of the hydroponic system without negatively impacting the aquatic environment.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

Recent Posts