It’s a Miracle(Gro): The Effects Miracle-Gro Has On Chorella Algae Growth

Connor Houghton, Caleb Miles, Miriam Joseph, Christian Albert Maldonado, Shauni Windle


This experiment was designed to study and determine the effects different nutrients have on algae growth in a controlled photobioreactor. Biofuels are becoming a preferred alternative to conventional fuel sources, as such we wish to optimize algae growth using nutrients. We hypothesized that the algae growth will be highest when exposed to just Miracle-Gro, compared to the sodium phosphate and potassium nitrate. Having placed algae in each chamber and then adding each nutrient to its respective bottle, at the end of each week we measured the growth using a hemocytometer. By graphing the data and comparing the different trials, we were able to determine which nutrient contributed most to algae cell density growth. The results show that the Miracle-Gro contributed the most to cell growth when the growth media was absent but not when accompanied by the growth media, therefore partially supporting our hypothesis. As the biofuel industry continues to grow, companies can use these results to better determine the best, most efficient additive to use when attempting to maximize the production of biofuel.

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