You Light up my Life: The Effect of Light on Algal Growth

Emily Kauk, Aby Jimenez, Sarah Hall, Parker Lenheiser, Lindsey Worcester


We are investigating algal growth within different light intensities. We are experimenting with this because algae can make very useful biofuels that our economy can use. Biofuels are fuels are produced directly from organic material. These fuels include ethanol and biodiesel. We hypothesized that algal growth will increase with a high intensity light because the light will speed up photosynthesis. We will be making photobioreactors in order to grow the algae in a controlled environment. In this controlled experiment, we will be exposing our algae to different lights that include: high intensity light, a blue light (higher energy), room lighting and no light. After our experiment we found that the high intensity light produced the most algae cell count in week one, however, in week two the blue light produced the most algae cell count. Our differences in results could be due to error throughout the experiment. In other manuscripts we found that some experiments resulted in higher cell count in the blue light, and some had higher cell count in the high intensity light. This shows that the results from our experiments and others do not correspond.    

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