How Increased Nitrogen Levels by means of Urea Affect the Growth of Picochlorum Oklahomensis

Bailey Cole, Lauren Coffman, Micaela Andreo, Yuniva Carrillo


Biofuels provide a safer alternative to the burning of fossil fuels. They come from natural substances provided by animals and plants. Algae is increasing in popularity as a source for biofuels because of its ability to reproduce at rapid rates. Nitrogen is a nutrient that is necessary for the growth of algae. This led us to predict that by increasing the amount of nitrogen, the algae growth will increase faster than algae without added nitrogen. Using photobioreactors, we added urea, which is an organic source of nitrogen, to measure the increased amount of algae cells. Our experiment supported our hypothesis by showing that the algae introduced to urea grew at a much faster rate than the algae that was not. This can support further biofuel research by understanding how to grow algae at a faster rate in order to produce more biofuels.

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