Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Willa Harper

Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


Algae-derived biofuels have the potential to become a source of renewable liquid fuel via hydrothermal liquefaction. However, for algal biofuels to be economically and environmentally feasible, sustainable nutrient recycling must be achieved. Desmodesmus armatus is a microalga to be used in hydrothermal liquefaction, but it is not yet known if the aqueous product waste from the biofuel production process can be recycled as a nitrogen source to support the growth of subsequent cultures of D. armatus. Here, aqueous product was treated with a Dowex 50WX8 resin for 24 hrs. Growth media was prepared with treated and untreated aqueous product at 25% nitrogen supplementation for culturing D. armatus, and growth was tracked using optical density measurements. We found that growth rates between the untreated, treated, and control conditions were similar, and not significantly different. This indicates that the recycling of aqueous product from hydrothermal liquefaction for the growth of D. armatus is a sustainable way to achieve nutrient recycling for algae biofuels. If it is possible to recycle aqueous product directly from hydrothermal liquefaction to growth media, then the overall process of algae biofuels will become more economically feasible than using the treated aqueous product. This study demonstrates, for the first time, the possibility of using untreated aqueous product for use in growing D. armatus.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.