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Crayfish can breathe again, thanks to CCC

Central Compressors has been called in to ensure a reliable, clean air supply to tanks of crayfish which are being kept at the University of Bristol as part of a conservation trial. We were called in after a disaster in the labs in which hundreds of crayfish died because an old compressor failed, discharging leaked oil into the air feed and polluting the tanks.

The captive crustaceans are American signal crayfish, which have invaded British rivers and are driving the native white-clawed species close to extinction. Biologists at the university have been studying the creatures’ physiology to work out why they are so successful. By varying the supply of oxygen to the tanks, they have found that the signal crayfish can go without it for much longer periods than the native species.

Central Compressors was appointed as the approved supplier of air compression equipment to the University in 2009. We were asked to provide a replacement system which could not allow the same thing to happen again. Our engineers installed a medical air system, which is water lubricated so that no oil is ever present in the system.

Two units were installed – as specified by the customer.

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