Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering and Earth Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Caye Drapcho

Committee Member

Arnold Eversole

Committee Member

Tom Owino


Capture of atmospheric carbon by freshwater algae is being proposed in Clemson University’s outdoor algal carbon capture system, formerly described as the Partitioned Aquaculture System (Drapcho and Brune, 2000). Several algal species have been present in the system, depending on cultivation conditions. However, mechanical harvesting of the algae has proven difficult because of the cost of chemical flocculants, the energy cost of filtration due to small particle size of algae, and the relatively dilute algal cell concentrations in the system. Prior research on algal filtration by freshwater mussels has indicated its potential for use as a biological filter. This research aims to determine the capability for biological harvesting of suspended-growth microalgae using the native freshwater mussel Elliptio complanata for carbon capture applications. The specific objectives are to determine filtration rates of algal biomass by E. complanata and to develop a carbon mass balance for a mussel-based harvest system for carbon capture applications. Filtration rates of algae by E. complanata did not vary with respect to algal cell concentration, and no differences in filtration were observed between the two alga genera studied. First order models of uptake rate were determined to fit the data best; the uptake rate constant was 0.57 hr-1 and 0.86 hr-1 for E. complanata fed Scenedesmus and Chlorella at 25 mg L-1 algal biomass concentration, respectively.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.