How Nannochloropsis oculata growth is affected by the addition of urea

Emma Long, Cory McDonald, Mara Stanley, Cassandra Bratcher


With rising demands for new sources of clean energy, harvesting algae for biodiesel production has become a new and more efficient solution to solving the energy crisis. By creating a more sustainable form of biofuels we are able to help the planet by controlling the CO2 emissions and other harmful toxins created by traditional ethanol gases and “unclean” fuels. In this study, we tested the theory that by doubling the urea content to 80 μL it will promote a more efficient growth media rate for the Nannochloropsis oculata. By creating a photobioreactor to contain the tests we are able to accurately measure the rate of growth for each concentration of urea along with the growth media and get accurate results. We found that the experimental groups containing the higher concentration rate of urea, seemed to show a trend of greater growth rates than that of the control group. Whilst the lower concentration of urea has a less noticeable growth increase compared to the experimental subjects.

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