The Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) requires a very well-integrated operation of aquaculture, halo-agriculture, and mangrove silviculture systems to produce sustainable biofuels for aviation among other relevant outputs. In order to achieve an optimal design and operation in a SEAS, a reliable detailed understanding of the dynamic interactions between process subunits and elements is essential. We propose an approach consisting of two main lines of work towards a primary goal of optimized design and operation of SEAS plants.
A first line of work aims at building up reliable analytical techniques, monitoring protocols and SOPs to achieve and maintain in situ detailed knowledge of the chemical composition and microbial activity across the different SEAS subunits and compartments. Such characterization knowledge, and the capacity to monitor its changes, is essential to know the state of the complete system. A comprehensive sampling campaign, tailoring existing and developing new analytical techniques to the SEAS conditions, will produce robust protocols and SOPs to ensure high-reliability information about the system state at any moment in time. A second line of work aims at the development of a detailed predictive dynamic mathematical model of the integrated process and its subunits. The model will be based on material balances and contain detailed biokinetic descriptions of both chemical and biological conversions and transport processes of relevance. Advance space resolution modeling will be developed for parts of relevance in specific SEAS subunits. The model, coupled with good quality data for calibration, will have predictive capabilities allowing for its direct application to the optimization of SEAS design and operation under multiple scenarios that will be evaluated to inform the SBRC for scale-up design and operation. The principal investigator, Dr. Rodriguez, brings his world class expertise in bioprocess modeling in addition to the excellent lab facilities and resources available at Khalifa University’s Masdar Institute.