Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry - (Ph.D.)


Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Liping Wei

Second Advisor

Edgardo Tabion Farinas

Third Advisor

Tamara M. Gund

Fourth Advisor

Haidong Huang

Fifth Advisor

Pradyot Patnaik

Sixth Advisor

Yang Deng


Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are growing problem across the globe. One such HAB that’s recurring in the coastal waters of New York and New Jersey since mid-1980s, and has been reported in other countries recently, is brown tide bloom. The causal organism is a minute pel agophyte (cell diameter ~- 2µ m) Aureococcus anophagefferens. The brown tide bloom has been responsible for the severe ecological damage and economic loss (e.g. shellfishery) in the affected areas. This research focuses on finding a method to control brown tide blooms and explores the potential of natural chemical biocide hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a reagent to serve the purpose. Studies on laboratory cultures were carried out in order to determine the effectiveness of H2O2 at eradicating A. anophagefferens. Then, the safety (to non-target organisms) and selectivity of H2O2 treatment was tested by exposing a dozen common marine phytopl ankton species to H2O2. This was followed by a study exploring the applicability of H2O2 treatment in the field and finally, the effects of algal growth phase and biomass on treatment efficacy were tested. The kinetics of H2O2 decomposition were examined in parallel. The dissertation discusses the possible action of H2O2 on algal cells based on cell wall structure, cell size, growth phase and algal cell density, factors potentially affecting the treatment efficacy and realistic scenario of H2O2 application.

Included in

Chemistry Commons