First Steps – Luke

Imagine an incalculable number of tiny plants that feed everything in the ocean and produce the air that we breathe. Tiny plants that could replace petroleum fuel, and even become a nutritional staple that ends hunger across the globe. Welcome to the world of phytoplankton.

Microalgae are photosynthetic single cell organisms that populate the oceans. They come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Some species contain one of the most deadly poisons in nature, while others contain a density of nutrients that could classify it as a superfood. My project objective concerns both of the previously mentioned aspects of these organisms. We aim to eliminate any toxicity while maximizing the nutritional potential of the algae. Though many questions remain unanswered and much research is left to be done, this project has the potential to be very interesting as we answer those questions one by one.

So far we started two cultures of a species called Nannochloropsis, one in a perfectly sterile one liter flask, and one in a less carefully prepared but similar environment. The first one was sterilized with bleach and a sodium thiosulphate solution. The bleach kills everything in the water and the sodium thiosulphate neutralizes the chlorine in the bleach leaving pure, clean water. The process was taken from a forum that I found here:

More to come once the cultures begin to establish themselves.

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