The effects of water quality on algae [Nannochloropsis oculata] growth

Cheridan Shepherd, Megan Roach, Aurora Statsman, Max Stadler, Jack Taylor, Cassandra Bratcher


Nannochloropsis oculata is an algae that resides in most marine life. This algae is used in multiple experiments to track growth rate in search of biofuel production and water quality. This experiment will focus on Nannochloropsis oculata growth production between tap water and bottled water. We created a photobioreactor using aquarium salt as the growth media with two bottles of tap water and two bottles of Nestle bottled water. Over a week's time span the bioreactor was kept in fourteen hours of light and ten hours of darkness. Two trials were conducted during the experiment to evaluate and compare the results. The experiment conducted the dry weight calculation to collect growth data. The trials conducted showed that bottled water supported an extensive amount of algae growth compared to tap water, which exhibited very little growth rate. The tap water remained unchanged in looks and very low algae growth. The results of the data caused the group to interpret that there is a greater amount of algae growth in the control group (the bottled water) because the biomass and the average cell count were higher. Studies on N. oculata and the effect water type has on its growth could have lasting effects on energy production. N. oculata can be used to produce biofuels and replace the harmful gases from cars and factories.

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