BiopHuel is the pHuture: Effect of pH on Algae Growth (Picochlorum oklahomense at 3.0 and 6.0 pH)

Abigail Johns, Summer Gipson, Zoe Hester, Xavier Gathy, Grace Grunewald


Biofuel is an alternative, renewable fuel source using photosynthesis from plants and algae to create fuel. We wanted to test the ideal conditions for Picochlorum oklahomense growth. We set up a photobioreactor with four chambers, two controls and two experimental groups of 3.0 and 6.0 pH, left for a week before measuring dry mass and cell count. Our results showed a general decrease in the algal abundance as the pH decreased, supporting our hypothesis. Similar studies corroborated our results, showing the same pattern as the solutions became more acidic. With further research into the specific range that algae flourishes in, biofuel could become a meaningful, sustainable source of energy in the future.

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