Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Byard Wood


This study evaluated the effect of several heavy metals that are present in flue gases on the algae, focusing on the growth and accumulation of lipids in the algae that can be converted to biodiesel. Concentrations for the heavy metals were calculated based on literature and assumptions. Metals were tested individually first at the highest concentrations that might be present (reference concentrations). The metals and their reference concentrations were: arsenic at 1.56 mg/L, cadmium at 0.3 mg/L, chromium at 2.6 mg/L, cobalt at 0.32 mg/L, copper at 2.62 mg/L, lead at 1.09 mg/L, nickel at 5.08 mg/L, mercury at 0.2 mg/L, selenium at 0.2 mg/L, and zinc at 8.8 mg/L. At these concentrations, most of the metals had a negative effect on the growth and lipid content of the algae. All of the metals were then tested at lower concentrations. At 1/20 the reference concentrations, the metals enhanced growth as well as lipid accumulation in the algae. At higher concentrations there was a negative effect.




This work made publicly available electronically on April 10, 2012.