Date of Award


Degree Type



Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Belovich, Joanne

Subject Headings

Microalgae -- Biotechnology, Microalgae -- Cultures and culture media, Scenedesmus, Photosynthesis, Biomass energy -- Research


The individual components of the growth media, notably magnesium, have a profound impact on the growth and lipid production of the green microalgae, Scenedesmus dimorphus. The goal of this work was to investigate these effects and explain the causes via multiple experiments. It is important to understand the aspects of algal growth because they have a significant impact on the commercial viability of microalgal lipids as a potential feedstock for biofuel production. Digestate, derived from bovine waste and a potential cost effective nutrient replacement for conventional media types, was found to maximize growth and lipid concentration in S. dimorphus at 1.25 and 1.75 in water respectively and that increasing Mg concentration increased both growth and maximum cell density. The second experiment derived the Monod parameters ks (33 ± 7 mg/L) and umax (0.59 ± 0.04 days-1) for magnesium limited growth. The third experiment utilized ICP spectral analysis to monitor nutrient consumption over time allowing for the calculation of biomass yields for Mg (476 ± 132), Ca (247 ± 57.8), Fe (8550 ± 824), Mn (5310 ± 1450) all in g/g