Tea & Algae: How Black Tea Affects the Growth of Algae (Picochlorum oklahomense)

Keegan Hines, Lyndee Jimboy, Haylee Hammock, Tristin Hurley, James Erdmann


Biofuels are a renewable energy source that are used to replace diminishing fossil fuels. In this experiment we were testing to try and find a way to increase the growth of algae to help in the research of making algae a usable biofuel. To do this, we used black tea, which contains both caffeine and powerful antioxidants, as our independent variable to increase the growth of algae. For our experiment, we placed varying amounts of black tea in our photobioreactors including a full bag, half a bag, and one fourth of a bag. Our photobioreactors were made of water bottles and contained Picochlorum oklahomense algae. After a week we measured the chlorophyll and found that the more tea that was added, the less algae survived. This could be from contaminants found in the tea bags or from some property of the tea itself. Future studies can be done to separate the effects of the contaminants, and the effects of the tea.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.