Technology Overview


The TimberFish technology is a comprehensive environmental biotechnology that integrates food and energy production with the restoration and preservation of the global ecology.  It is based on a dynamic system wherein naturally evolving complex populations of microbes and invertebrates interact synergistically to capture and concentrate nutrients while degrading organic substrates.  The process of the system comprises the construction of a production ecosystem around one or more organic substrates and the subsequent management of different levels of organism dynamics relative to nutrient availabilities and concentrations.  These may vary in cyclical or steady state patterns as a result of controlling environmental variables and water movement throughout the various environmental zones and sub-zones within the production ecosystem.  The process is adaptable to a variety of simple or complex organic substrates and nutrient matrices.  It produces a range of usable final products that includes feed, food, renewable energy, and clean water.  Figure I depicts this process

Figure I

TimberFish Technology Life-Cycle


The TimberFish Aquaculture System offers a major breakthrough in seafood production and safety.  This technology uses plant material (such as wood and switch grass) to generate a microbial biomass.  Larger organisms consume the microbes and then become live natural food for saleable fish or crustaceans. The unused nutrients and biodegradable raw materials from this process are recycled back to prior stages where they are used as inputs for additional microbial growth.   Consequently the system internally produces most or all of the feed required to raise fish, and allows aquaculture to move away from a dependence on fishmeal and fish oil. 

Fish wastes produced within the system are recycled back for use by the microbes acting on the plant material.  Thus the system is its own waste and wastewater treatment system.  Because the system contains such a large and diversified microbial population it has the ability to degrade or remove the wide variety of nutrient and organic constituents commonly found in aquaculture wastewaters.  This treatment effectiveness means that TimberFish Aquaculture Systems can operate with minimal water requirements and return clean water to the environment.  The systems promote fish health, good growth rates, low mortality, and a good tasting product. 

Although TimberFish will initially focus on the production of fish and seafood to eat, the long term future for feeding the world’s growing population will depend, not on the use of existing large animals for food, but more on the development of high protein substrates for the manufacture of processed foods and feeds.  In this area the TimberFish technology offers substantial growth potential.