Effects of various alkaline carbonic solutions on the growth of the freshwater algae Chlorophyceae
(1) Lakeside High School, Atlanta, Georgia, (2) Parkview High School, Lilburn, Georgia, (3) Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, (4) Rockdale Magnet School, Conyers, Georgiahttps://doi.org/10.59720/22-245
Modern day fossil fuels are prone to polluting our environment, which can provide major habitat loss to many animals in our ecosystems. Algae-based biofuels have become an increasingly popular alternative to fossil fuels because of their sustainability, effectiveness, and environmentally-friendly nature. To encourage algae growth and solidify its role as an emerging biofuel, we tested basic (in terms of pH) solutions on pond water to determine which solution is most efficient in inducing the growth of algae. We hypothesized that a calcium carbonate solution would induce the most algae bloom, because calcium is a catalyst in photosynthesis. Alkaline carbonate solutions were used to create an optimal environment for the growth of algae; three carbonic alkaline solutions were tested in samples of pond water with algae measured through visible light absorbance using a spectrophotometer. As hypothesized, calcium carbonate induced the most algae growth compared to the control sample, potassium carbonate, and sodium bicarbonate. In conclusion, calcium-containing solutions stimulated algae growth the most, likely due to this solution having properties to stimulate the photosynthetic process by enhancing the transcription and translation process for genes related to chloroplast proteins and enzymes. Our results suggest that calcium is important in enhancing algae growth, which may be important as alternatives for fossil fuels are developed.
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