The effect of varying pH levels on algae growth

Haley Freeland, Savannah Donnell, Riley Dilbeck, Nathan Foster, Brooklyn Gissendaner, Sarah Bounds


Algae can be used to produce biofuels, which can serve as a replacement for petroleum-based diesel fuels. In order to maximize biofuel production, algae production needs to be maximized as well. We tested the effect pH had on algae growth. We hypothesized that algae grown in a solution with a neutral pH level would grow at a higher rate than algae grown in an acidic solution. In order to test this, we added citrate to a photobioreactor and compared the algae growth following one-week trials to a control that did not have added acid. We found that photobioreactors not containing acid had a higher growth rate of algae when compared to photobioreactors that did contain acid. Algae could be grown at neutral pH level to maximize growth. 

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