The Effects of LED Lights on the Growth of Chlorella vulgaris

Amanda Geis, William Sampson, Tai-Yin Huang, Jacqueline S McLaughlin


This study on the cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris observed the efficiency of using LED lights compared to traditional grow lights to add further insight into ways to optimize algal growth for biofuel production. In this study, C. vulgaris grown in culture was exposed to red LED lights at 625 nm. It was hypothesized that exposure to red LED lights would have a positive effect on the growth of C. vulgaris causing the cells to grow faster than cells grown under a traditional grow light. Additionally, the concentration of the cells grown under red LED lights would be greater than that of the cells exposed to a grow light. These hypotheses were confirmed by graphing daily average cell concentration values (cells/ml) of both experimental and control groups. After 7 days, the control culture of C. vulgaris had reached a value of 5.53 x 106 cells/mL with a rate of growth of 6.90x105 cells/mL per day, while the group exposed to the red LED lights had reached 1.10 x 107 cells/mL with a rate of growth of 1.00x106 cells/mL per day. The data suggest that using red LED lighting is a more efficient method of cultivation of C. vulgaris than traditional grow lights.

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