Brian Wolfson

Mentor: Dr. Spyros Svoronos
Chemical Engineering
 
"I've always found renewable and sustainable energy to be one of the most important scientific pursuits of our age. The concept of co-generative growable energy sources seems a very good logical step to achieve this goal. As such, I've been working with a specific native algae for the last couple years, in order to produce an effluent mixture of useful polysaccharides. These polysaccharides can be created from waste CO2 and then digested into several forms of clean burning fuel. Thereby lowering greenhouse emittions form factories and plants, while providing a renewable clean burning energy source. "

Major

Chemical Engineering

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Saftey
  • Integrity
  • Discovery

Academic Awards

  • Presidents List Recipient (2011,2012,2013,2014)
  • TBP Best Electee (2012)
  • Golden Key Honoree (2012)
  • S.F.C. Honors Program (2009)

Organizations

  • Tau Beta Pi
  • Golden Key
  • Delta Epsilon Iota

Volunteer

  • 4-H Space Camp Instructor
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • CCC Home Repairs for the Elderly and Injured

Hobbies and Interests

  • Baseball
  • Engine Rebuilding and Modification
  • Motorcycle Riding
  • School, School and more School

Research Description

The Effects of Light and Atmospheric Composition on the Growth of Native Algae

This project began with the hypothesis that higher biomass concentrations of a specific native algae, would lead to higher concentrations of effluent polysaccharide. The purpose of this polysaccharide is to be be digested, and used for biofuel production. The focus of my part in this research is to subject this native algae to different lighting and atmospheric compositions in order to optimize growth and formation of the polysaccharide. First it was necessary to create a controlled growth chamber, where variables such as heat, light, air flow, and pressure, could be set and monitored for repeatable experiments. The next phase involved creating the correct chemical media for the algae to grow in, similar to its native environment. Once these factors were in place, laboratory protocols were derived through experimentation, in order to deliver viable and repeatable results. The current phase of this research involves the optimization of bio-density vs. polysaccharide production of this algae. Using different intensities of solar wavelength light, and different molecular concentrations of sparged and atmospheric air, we intend to find the optimum balance between growth and polysaccharide production. Once this optimization has been achieved, the bio-matter and polysaccharide digestion experiments intend to show the maximum level of bio-fuels that can be produced per mass of algae grown. The goal of which is to show that this process can be a viable means of energy production in the future. Furthermore, the molecular composition of the air flow (High CO2 concentration) maybe also shown as a viable means of filtering industrial emittions. Ultimately, we would like to show that the entire processes could be used co-generatively, to both filter emittions and generate a reusable energy source.