The Impact of Sodium Bicarbonate Additive on the Concentration of Algae (Picochlorum oklahomense) within a Standard Bioreactor

Jacob Lewellen, Hannah Hill, Austin Leone


The merits of algal biomass as a biofuel combined with the high cost of such a feedstock necessitates the need for research to determine methods of increasing algal growth rate. However, research on high levels on sodium bicarbonate additives is limited due to low sample sizes. We hypothesized 10 mL of sodium bicarbonate would result in increased algae concentration in Picochlorum oklahomense due to the associated increase in soluble carbon sources. We conducted a controlled experiment within standard bioreactors to test our hypothesis. Results showed no significant difference between the control and experimental groups, failing to support our hypothesis. Our experiment demonstrates the need for future studies to consider moderate levels of sodium bicarbonate.

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