Date of Defense

Spring 4-25-2012

Date of Graduation

Spring 4-28-2012



First Advisor

John B. Miller, Chemistry

Second Advisor

Steve Bertman, Chemistry

Third Advisor

Kristin Hampel, Chemistry


Saccharide release


With diminishing fossil fuels, renewable sources are becoming much higher in demand. Algae are becoming an increasingly important source of biofuels. Production of biofuels from algae exceeds yields from every other source, most notably corn, per acre. It also provides a highly viable method of reusing carbon dioxide and does not compete with other crops for growth. The production of ethanol through fermentation requires the release of saccharides produced by the algae. The more saccharides extracted, the more ethanol can be produced. This project investigates for a more effective method of maximum saccharide release.

The purpose of this project is to analyze how different combinations of acidic, sonic, thermal, and microwave treatments could affect and maximize the release of various saccharides from an algae sample. Every combination was investigated to determine the most effected combination of treatments through a screening matrix. Based on the results, a new screening matrix was created to investigate further optimization. Algae samples were treated with different combinations of acid species and temperatures using a microwave. The results were compared to that of the first screening matrix. Based on the new results, different treatment schemes were created for further investigation.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Chemistry Commons