A Quantitative Analysis on the Effect of Varying Nitrate Concentrations on pH levels on the Growth of Algae
Nathaniel Tak1, Pranshu Wagh2, Sumer Sandhu3, Akshay Reddy4, Himanshu Wagh5*
1California Northstate University, Rancho Cordova, USA,
2Fremont Unified School District, Freemont, USA
3California Northstate University, Rancho Cordova, USA
4Department of Ophthalmology, California Northstate University, Rancho Cordova, USA
5California Northstate University, Rancho Cordova, USA
The objective of this experiment was to determine what nitrate concentration and pH would provide the most optimal growth for algae. In order to determine this, algae from the American River was taken and grown in solutions with different concentrations of nitrate, and H+ ions. It was hypothesized that the algae would grow best in solutions with neutral pH levels or solutions with high nitrate concentrations. Different amounts of sodium nitrate were added to beakers with similar amounts of water and algae in order to create environments with varying concentrations of nitrate. Different amounts of NaOH and acetic acid were added to beakers with similar amounts of water and algae in order to simulate environments with varying pH levels.
This experiment was conducted in order to determine how fertilizer runoffs affect algal growth. Fertilizer run offs carry nitrate ions into rivers and lakes, which cause algal blooms to form. It was hypothesized that as the concentration of nitrate increases, the growth rate of the algae would also increase. This is due to the fact that the literature supports the idea that as nitrate is added to rivers and lakes the number of algae present increases. The results from the experiment demonstrated that the most optimal concentration of nitrate in the water for algal growth was in between 1-2 Molar and that the most optimal pH for algal growth was in between 7-8.
Algae; nitrate; ions; water