Matching Items (3)

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The Effect of Heterotrophic Bacteria on the Growth Rate of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803

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With global warming becoming a more serious problem and mankind's alarming dependency on fossil fuels, the need for a sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel source is becoming more important. Biofuels

With global warming becoming a more serious problem and mankind's alarming dependency on fossil fuels, the need for a sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel source is becoming more important. Biofuels produced from photosynthetic microorganisms like algae or cyanobacteria offer a carbon neutral replacement for petroleum fuel sources; however, with the technology and information available today, the amount of biomass that would need to be produced is not economically feasible. In this work, I examined a possible factor impacting the growth of a model cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, which is heterotrophic bacteria communities accompanying the cyanobacteria. I experimented with three variables: the type of heterotrophic bacteria strain, the initial concentration of heterotrophic bacteria, and the addition of a carbon source (glucose) to the culture. With experimental information, I identified if given conditions would increase Synechocystis growth and thus increase the yield of biomass. I found that under non-limiting growth conditions, heterotrophic bacteria do not significantly affect the growth of Synechocystis or the corresponding biomass yield. The initial concentration of heterotrophic bacteria and the added glucose also did not affect the growth of Synechocystis. I did see some nutrient recycling from the heterotrophic bacteria as the phosphate levels in the growth medium were depleted, which was apparent from prolonged growth phase and higher levels of reactive phosphate in the media.

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  • 2015-12

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Peeing in the Pool: how aquatic insect excretion reflects and affects nutrient recycling in two desert streams

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Aquatic macroinvertebrates can be key contributors to nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling in streams. Though they exhibit intense control via trophic interactions and nutrient conversion, they may be influenced

Aquatic macroinvertebrates can be key contributors to nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling in streams. Though they exhibit intense control via trophic interactions and nutrient conversion, they may be influenced by other environmental factors that can determine total excretion-derived N, P, and N:P. Garden Canyon and Ramsey Canyon, two streams in the Huachuca Mountain Range in Southern Arizona, USA, host similar insect communities, but only Garden Canyon experiences a seasonal P limitation due to the co-precipitation of phosphate with calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in its benthic substrate (Corman et al. 2015). I performed an analysis of excretion rates of aquatic insects living in these streams to test if the P limitation is reflected in rates that insects recycle nutrients. A lower mean N:P of all insect excretion rates in Garden provides evidence for an ecosystem-scale effect, though the differences in N:P of excretion rates by individual taxa between streams did not support the hypothesis. Attributing excretion rates to actual insect densities in three years reveals that natural-occurring fluctuations in excretion rates can operate on the same magnitude as fluctuations in abundances and causes steep differences in nutrient conversion between streams. Lastly, I found that since these streams support immense insect diversity, they receive excretion-derived N and P from taxa in many different functional feeding groups, which illustrates ecosystem resilience and uniqueness.

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  • 2016-05

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Phosphorus recovery from microbial biofuel residual using microwave peroxide digestion and anion exchange

Description

Biofuel from microbial biomass is a viable alternative to current energy production practices that could mitigate greenhouse gas levels and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Sustainable production of microbial biomass

Biofuel from microbial biomass is a viable alternative to current energy production practices that could mitigate greenhouse gas levels and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Sustainable production of microbial biomass requires efficient utilization of nutrients like phosphorus (P). P is a limited resource which is vital for global food security. This paper seeks to understand the fate of P through biofuel production and proposes a proof-of-concept process to recover P from microbial biomass. The photosynthetic cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is found to contain 1.4% P by dry weight. After the crude lipids are extracted for biofuel processing, 92% of the intercellular P is found within the residual biomass. Most intercellular P is associated with nucleic acids which remain within the cell after lipids are extracted. Phospholipids comprise a small percentage of cellular P. A wet chemical advanced oxidation process of adding 30% hydrogen peroxide followed by 10 min of microwave heating converts 92% of the total cellular P from organic-P and polyphosphate into orthophosphate. P was then isolated and concentrated from the complex digested matrix by use of resins. An anion exchange resin impregnated with iron nanoparticles demonstrates high affinity for P by sorbing 98% of the influent P through 20 bed volumes, but only was able to release 23% of it when regenerated. A strong base anion exchange resin sorbed 87% of the influent P through 20 bed volumes then released 50% of it upon regeneration. The overall P recovery process was able to recover 48% of the starting intercellular P into a pure and concentrated nutrient solution available for reuse. Further optimization of elution could improve P recovery, but this provides a proof-of-concept for converting residual biomass after lipid extraction to a beneficial P source.

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Date Created
  • 2012