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Grow your own algae

Algae are relatively simple plant-like organisms that produce energy through photosynthesis. They use water and carbon dioxide to form biomass. They differ from "normal" plants because they have no roots, stems and leaves.

Most people think of algae as greenish algae ponds, green deposits on tiles, invasions of toxic blue-green algae and kelp and seaweed washed up on the beach. But algae can be used for various purposes. You can process them into biodiesel or make natural dyes or healthy fats that can be used in cosmetics and food with them.

You can come to the university to grow your own algae and explore what the best growing conditions are. You can vary the intensityof ligth, acidity (pH) or the presence of nutrients. You can also examine how to increase the yield of oil from algae. An American girl studied this in a lab that she built under her bed. She was able to significantly increase the amount of oil in algae using a pesticide and won the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search in America. Can you make that yield even higher?

Fill out our form if you want to pick up algae from the UG.


Interesting research questions:

  • How are algae used in the production of biofuel/cosmetics/dyes?
  • Which algae are the most suitable for the production of biofuel/dyes/cosmetics?
  • Can you adjust algae to make them better suited for the production of biofuel/algae/cosmetics?
  • What are the ideal growing conditions of algae? Can you make them grow faster by changing the ligth intensity, pH or nutrients? And does this also influence the structure of the algae?
  • How do algae adjust to a changing environment? How fast does this happen?
Last modified:03 November 2023 3.50 p.m.
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