Ain’t No Ammonia High Enough: How Varying Ammonia Concentration Affect Chlorophyll Production in Algae.

Samantha Simpson, Rachel Terry, Kyle Sampson, Jenna Borrelli, Graham Davis


Algae have become a popular focal point for researchers and companies searching for viable sources of biofuel production that are both agriculturally and economically efficient. High lipid production in algae result in their ability to produce biofuels. Ammonia, a fixed nitrate source, has been found in bodies of freshwater due to agricultural runoff. Our group set up an experiment to identify which ammonia concentration yields the highest amount of chlorophyll production in a mixture of Chlorella species algae. We hypothesized that ammonia concentrations higher than 2% will yield the lowest amount of chlorophyll production because extremely high concentrations of ammonia (2% and higher) will produce algal blooms that will slow the photosynthetic process, leading to lower amounts of chlorophyll. The results of our experiments concluded there is no relationship between ammonia levels and chlorophyll production.

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