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Subject: Beginner help / guidance requested
From: Steve Harris <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Steve Harris <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 3 Nov 2008 10:13:04 +0000
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Hello everyone,

This may seem strange but I am an amateur researcher who is interested
to know more about algae culture. Specifically I am interested in
algae culture for oil / biomass. I know the biofuels aspect has been
rejected on this forum, but it seems likely to me that years of
evolution must have made algae an efficient capturer of the sun's
energy.

Therefore I want to investigate it myself. My main question is, is it
possible for a home researcher equipped with a decent microscope and
other readily available equipment to separate out the strains and
measure what is going on?

I did some simple experiments involving growing algae obtained from
the sea. My experiments involved trying different conditions to see
the factors that encouraged growth. I also tried looking at specimens
under the microscope. It seemed to me that algae could be encouraged
to grow much more quickly given certain conditions.

If I want to measure biomass / calorific value / oil content etc. will
it require vastly expensive equipment? Or are there places that can do
such tests for a modest fee?

Thanks for any advice, links to reference material etc.

Steve Harris B.Sc.
103 Locking Road
Weston-Super-Mare
United Kingdom

Tel. 01934 625428

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