Does Algae Have a Sweet Tooth? The Effects of Raw Sugar on Algal Growth

Madison Nottingham, Reigh Lively, Chris Pugh, Timberleigh McGee, Sarah Hileman


In our investigation, the question we tested was: does algae have a sweet tooth? We therefore looked at the effects of raw sugar on algal growth. This study was chosen due to our interest in different components in sugar including carbon and hydrogen and their effect on the growth of algae. The basic methodology used in our experiment measured the chlorophyll levels and the cell growth with three different algal solutions. This study will not only benefit people in the scientific community, but will also benefit algae farmers, also known as algaculture. The solutions tested in this study are defined as follows: 0.5% raw sugar mixed with algal solution, 0.25% raw sugar solution mixed with algal solution, and no raw sugar mixed with algal solution. The data collected in our experiment has shown that raw sugar concentration does correlate with algae cell growth and chlorophyll levels, partially due to light. As a result of these findings, our group suggests that glucose is beneficial to algae growth.

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