The effect of microalgae growth medium on power ultrasound treatment of microalgal biomass was investigated. Chlorella vulgaris was grown in Bold's basal medium (BBM), Bristol's medium, sueoka medium, and MiracleGro All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food. These media showed statistically indistinguishable intrinsic growth rates, averaging 0.052/day. Power ultrasound treatment was applied at 9.5 W for 5 min. MiracleGro showed chemical oxygen demand (COD) solvation post-sonication of 66%, twice that of other growth media per cell ruptured; which was unexpected based on observed consistent biomass quality. Media differences do not appear to have an effect on ultrasound power transfer; thus, C. vulgaris grown in MiracleGro medium has a decreased strength in terms of resistance to rupture by ultrasound. These results suggest that while biomass productivity and composition are important for the efficiency of extraction, media effects on the susceptibility of cells to pretreatment should not be ignored in overall process design.

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