Title

The effect of PET and PVC plastic pollution on the biomass of Nannochloropsis oculata

Author(s)

Luke Zhang, SVHS

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

10th Grade

Presentation Topic

Microbiology

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Written Paper Award

2nd Place

Abstract

Marine phytoplankton populations are a vital part of many ocean ecosystems and the biosphere as a whole. Phytopl ankton not only produce 70% of the Earth’s oxygen, but are also the largest carbon sink on Earth. However, as a result the recent increase in the production and waste of plastic, many tons of plastic find their way into the plastic each year. This experiment was conducted to see if the presence of plastic in the water affected phytoplankton growth. It was hypothesized that the control group would have the highest dry mass, the PET group would have the second highest, and that the PVC group would have the lowest dry mass. Phytoplankton cultures were grown in a ocean water mix in glass jars below a window for a period of 21 days. There were 45 jars in total, which were randomly assigned to 3 experiment groups. Each group had 1 g of its respective plastic inserted at the start of the growth period. After the growth period, samples of each culture were taken and centrifuged, dryed at 70° C for 72 hours, and weighed to find the dry mass. It was found that the PVC and control groups had significantly higher dry masses than the PET group. A one way ANOVA was conducted at a 95% confidence interval a p-value of 0.019 was found. A Tukey post-hoc test was then done and both the control and PVC groups’ masses were found to be significantly greater than the PET groups.

Location

Neville 221

Start Date

4-14-2018 11:00 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

COinS
 
Apr 14th, 11:00 AM

The effect of PET and PVC plastic pollution on the biomass of Nannochloropsis oculata

Neville 221

Marine phytoplankton populations are a vital part of many ocean ecosystems and the biosphere as a whole. Phytopl ankton not only produce 70% of the Earth’s oxygen, but are also the largest carbon sink on Earth. However, as a result the recent increase in the production and waste of plastic, many tons of plastic find their way into the plastic each year. This experiment was conducted to see if the presence of plastic in the water affected phytoplankton growth. It was hypothesized that the control group would have the highest dry mass, the PET group would have the second highest, and that the PVC group would have the lowest dry mass. Phytoplankton cultures were grown in a ocean water mix in glass jars below a window for a period of 21 days. There were 45 jars in total, which were randomly assigned to 3 experiment groups. Each group had 1 g of its respective plastic inserted at the start of the growth period. After the growth period, samples of each culture were taken and centrifuged, dryed at 70° C for 72 hours, and weighed to find the dry mass. It was found that the PVC and control groups had significantly higher dry masses than the PET group. A one way ANOVA was conducted at a 95% confidence interval a p-value of 0.019 was found. A Tukey post-hoc test was then done and both the control and PVC groups’ masses were found to be significantly greater than the PET groups.