Is Miracle-Gro a Miracle Worker? The Effects Salt, Urea, And Miracle-Gro Have On Algae Chlorella vulgaris Growth

Tara Bartley, Andre Abit, Evan Beihl, Natalie Anderson, Jonathan Albers


Algae not only is responsible for producing a large amount of the oxygen in the world, but it also has other important uses such as for food or even as an alternative biofuel. There are many possible ways to harness and use algae as fuel, and one day we will need to rely on alternative fuel that is renewable. There are many factors that can create environments for algae to grow and many nutrients that it needs to live. One of those factors are the nutrients available to algae. We hypothesize that by using a mixture of Miracle-Gro, that contains beneficial nutrients that the algae might need, we can boost the growth of the algae in comparison to when the algae is treated with urea or salt. We used photobioreactors that contain algae and the nutrients that we are testing to see how well the algae will grow. After measuring the cell count and the dry weight for each experimental group after two trials, we found that the group provided with urea had the highest average cell count, while the group provided with Miracle-Gro had the highest average dry weight. Our results do support our hypothesis, however, we are not confident that our data is reliable enough to draw true conclusions about which nutrient is most beneficial in the growth of algae.

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