College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2021-09-14 17:42:07


Chemical Engineering

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021


Interest in sustainable feedstock for biofuel has encouraged research on the production of phagotrophic algae from bacteria using a two-staged continuous-flow system. Bacteria cultures were fed the content of a waste stream from The J.M. Smuckers Company containing high concentrations of sugar. In the design, the bacteria effluent overflowed into the algae tank which was kept at a set volume. Several methods were developed to assist in maintaining the system at steady state and minimize the impact from contaminants. A rigorous cleaning protocol was implemented for both tanks, effectively eliminating protozoa from the bacteria system. The protozoa were decreased in the algae tank by decreasing the dissolved oxygen to 5% or less. Fungi were removed from the algae tank by filtering through a mesh wire. An effective method for maintaining steady state was established and implemented during research to reduce time spent in lab. Data was collected for optical density, cell concentration, and dissolved oxygen to assess the health of the system. Results and observations suggest the feasibility of this method for producing phagotrophic algae, but since it was difficult to maintain the system at steady state, more trials need to be conducted to gather data for analysis.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Lu-Kwang Ju

First Reader

Dr. Edward Evans

Second Reader

Dr. Roya Gitiafroz

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Bi-min Newby



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