How Low (pH) Can Your Algae Grow: The Effect of pH Levels on Algae Growth

Katherine Sholar, Madyson Werner, Aral Taylor, Sarah Gardner


Biofuels Research and Aquatic Quality Collaborative (BiRAQC) focuses on the use of algae in the production of biofuels. By collecting data on the growth of algae in different pH levels, we hypothesize that the lower pH level will have a higher growth rate of algae and a higher pH level will have a lower growth rate of algae. After constructing four photobioreactors and letting them sit for a week, we then tested each one to see how pH level effects algae growth. Data was collected by calculating the cell density and averaging the samples from each photobioreactor. Our results showed that a lower pH level concluded in a higher algal growth rate which, in resolution, means the data we collected supported our hypothesis. Other sources’ results are similar to ours in the idea of a lower pH varying directly to high cell density. 

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