Fast Fuel: Increasing Picochlorum oklahomense Algae Growth using Potassium Nitrate

Lillian Bottorff, Ryan Allen Callahan, chanel carr, Austin Leone, Lyndee Branen


Algae is an important source of biofuels because of its high growth rate and ability of produce large amounts of biomass through photosynthesis (Xin et al. 2010). However, increasing its growth rate can make it more economical and can help the environment. We know that several nutrients are important factors in algae growth and among these nutrients is nitrogen. We wanted to test if algae grew faster in a solution with added nitrogen in the form of potassium nitrate than it did in unmodified growth media. Our results did not support this hypothesis, the control groups showed significantly more growth than the groups with KNO3 added. Based on our findings, we do not recommend using KNO3 to increase algae growth for the use of biofuels.

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