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In Partial Fulfillment

Of the Requirements for the Course,

Methods of Research


December 10, 2018



This chapter includes the overview, objectives and importance of pursuing this

study. The scope and limitation to be considered and the definition of terms that have

been used in this study is also presented in this chapter.

Background of the Study

Algae are a variety of aquatic organisms capable of performing photosynthesis.

Algae are a large and diverse groups of oxygenic, phototrophic and eukaryotic

microorganisms. As stated in Algae: Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Biotechnology, algae

are usually not that highly differentiated in the way that plants are. (2014) The majority

of algae live in aquatic habitats. Algae can be grown in various water resources such as

brackish water, seawater, and wastewater unsuitable for cultivating agricultural crops.

With the affliction of algae in wastewaters, such as municipal, animal and even some

industrial runoff, algae can help in its treatment and purification, while benefiting from

using the nutrients present. (Raven, 2014)

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research

and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD)

reported that the global demand for algal products has propelled a multibillion algal

industry that is estimated to at least be worth US$ 1.25 billion annually. In the

Philippines, approximately 60 species of algae had already been screened for use in the

food aquaculture industry.

Due to the rapid development of the algae industry, the government have

formulated several plans which are already underway for the algae industry through the

Algae Research and Commercialization Master Plan. This plan is set to go through five-

year implementation and is a roadmap for developing commercial uses for Philippine

strains of algae.

Algae have the potential to be a major powerhouse in the future considering its

prospective uses in the various industries, e.g. food, energy and even cosmetics.

According to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer - Negros

Occidental Chapter, the most commonly used algae in Negros Occidental is macroalgal

thalli (Chaetoceros sp.). Algae are traditionally used in Negros Occidental as feed for

fisheries in tandem with expired bread. This practice has been observed in the fisheries

around Taloc, Bago City. One source of macroalgal thalli of fish breeders is the small-

scale algae farm on Punta Taytay, Bacolod City.

The role of algae in waste water treatment has already been established.

However, some researchers found out that algae also has the potential as air filter pads for

some organic compounds in an unpublished study conducted on 2015.

In today’s electronic age, people are starting to consider going paperless. But

there’s still a long way to go before we lose our dependence on this very important

human product. From our newspapers to our paper wrappings, paper is still everywhere

and most of them are ending up in our landfills creating a staggering amount of paper

waste. There was a time when paper was a rare and precious commodity. Now it fills our

planet. It was initially invented as a tool for communication, but today, paper is used

more for packaging. Packaging composes a third or more of our trash. (Recycler's

Handbook, 1990)

Everything takes energy to produce. To produce paper takes twice the energy

used to produce a plastic bag. (Forest Ecology Network, n.d.) According to, Onondaga

Resource Recovery Agency, recycling one ton of paper saves 682.5 gallons of oil, 7,000

gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. (1998)

Filter papers are the simplest type of filter. Filter paper is a type of paper used to

filter solutions. It is a semi-permeable paper barrier that is placed perpendicular to a

liquid or air flow. It is used to separate fine substances from liquids or air. It is used in

science labs to remove solids from liquids, e.g. removal of sand from water.

Thus, the researcher wants to research on the plausibility of a filter paper made

from recycled paper and macroalgal thalli (Chaetoceros sp.).

Statement of the Problem

This study aims to analyze the potential of macroalgal thalli (Chaetoceros sp.)

and recycled paper as the primary material in producing filter paper. The following where

the specific queries the study aims to answer:

 Can filter paper be produced using macroalgal thalli (Chaetoceros sp.) and

recycled paper as its primary material?

 What is the characteristics displayed by the produced filter paper?

 Is there a significant difference between filter paper from macroalgal thalli

(Chaetoceros sp.) and recycled paper, and commercial filter papers in

terms of:

o Wet strength

o Volumetric flow rate


o Particle retention

o Efficiency

Hypotheses of the Problem

The null hypotheses of the study are the following:

 There is no significant difference between filter paper from macroalgal

thalli (Chaetoceros sp.) and recycled paper, and commercial filter papers

in terms of wet strength.

 There is no significant difference between filter paper from macroalgal

thalli (Chaetoceros sp.) and recycled paper, and commercial filter papers

in terms of volumetric flow rate.

 There is no significant difference between filter paper from macroalgal

thalli (Chaetoceros sp.) and recycled paper, and commercial filter papers

in terms of particle retention.

 There is no significant difference between filter paper from macroalgal

thalli (Chaetoceros sp.) and recycled paper, and commercial filter papers

in terms of efficiency.

Scope and Limitations

This study focuses only in the production of filter paper from macroalgal thalli

(Chaetoceros sp.) and recycled paper. The study will be conducted in the Chemical

Engineering Laboratory in the University of Saint La Salle with proper materials used.

The produced filter paper will be examined and evaluated in terms of wet strength,

volumetric flow rate, particle retention, and efficiency.

This study is limited as the other important parameters like porosity,

compatibility, and capacity that a standard filter paper is evaluated on will be bypassed.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will benefit the following sectors of the society:

Government Agencies. The government have several plans in action to promote

the algae industry, especially the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Energy

(DOE), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have several studies under

development in order to find out the limits of the potential algae have.

Environmental Sector. Algae as raw material will not harm the environment. It

is a food waste so it is eco-friendly and this study will serve as base line information for

further research for environment as it continues to find ways to protect environment.

Algae as filter paper will also help reduce deforestation that was caused by the demand

for paper products.

Paper Industry. Algae are abundant in the waterways in the Philippines and the

cultivation may be more cost-effective compared to growing trees.

Algae Industry. This study may provide the algae industry another outlet and

justification for their continued operation.


Agricultural Sector. Algae are commonly ignored or treated as pest to be

eliminated. With this study, the agricultural sector will realize another potential algae

have. This study will also encourage plantation and cultivation of algae in the country.

Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined operationally to facilitate understanding of the


Wet Strength – Wet strength are one of the two fundamental parameters filter

papers are commonly evaluated on. In this study, wet strength measures of how well the

web of fibers is holding the paper together can resist a fracture when the paper is wet.

Volumetric Flow Rate – Volumetric flow rate will signify the rate at which the

filter paper will let a liquid flow through it in this study.

Algae – Algae are a group of photosynthetic organisms that can be found in both

freshwaters and marine habitats that will serve as the primary material utilized in this


Review of Related Literature

The review includes the conceptual and research literature which are related to the

research problems.

Algae. Algae are a functional group of organisms that perform oxygen

photosynthesis and are not embryophytes — bacterial (cyanobacteria) and eukaryotic

organisms included. Oxygen photosynthesis is monophyletic and occurs in most major


eukaryotic clades due to primary, secondary and tertiary endosymbiosis followed by the

genetic integration of the endosymbionts in the eukaryotes. (Giordano, 2014)

Macroalgal thalli (Chaetoceros sp.). The chemical composition of the

Chaetoceros affinis var. willei (Gran) Hustedt grown in batch cultivation has been

significantly influenced by nutrient concentrations in the medium. In the logarithmic

growth phase, the cellular glucan content was comparatively low, but in the stationary

phase, the glucan content showed a rapid increase that appeared to coincide with the

medium's nitrate depletion. This resulted in exceedingly conspicuous variations in the

protein to carbohydrate ratio. This ratio can easily be determined and appears to be a

sensitive and convenient parameter for characterizing diatom cell physiological status.

(Myklestad, 1972) Chaetoceros muelleri (Schütt) was cultivated on a thermal gradient

plate, subjected to two media types with a scope of specific conductances, and appraised

for growth and neutral lipid accumulation. Based on its high growth rate, tolerance to a

broad range of temperatures and specific conductances, and large quantity of intracellular

lipid, C. muelleri may have potential for exploitation as a renewable precursor to liquid

fuels or as a lipid source, large quantity of intracellular lipid, C. muelleri may have

potential for exploitation as a renewable precursor to liquid fuels or as a lipid source.

(McGinnis, 1997) Chaetoceros affinis was investigated in batch cultures. Aspartic acid,

glutamic acid, serine, glutamine, glycine, alanine, valine, and leucine were the most

prominent extracellular amino acids in the exponential phase. Arginine, asparagine,

tyrosine and isoleucine were also produced in the stationary phase. The most abundant

extracellular component released was carbohydrate, of which polysaccharide accounted

for more than 80%. (Myklestad, 1989)


Filter paper. Recommended standards are given for the properties considered of

the most importance: alpha-cellulose, copper number, acidity, ash, bursting strength, and

water flow rate. Filter papers utilized for regular qualitative and quantitative analyses

were treated to obtain data for recommended standards of Quality. The papers were

composed of the products of two domestic and three foreign manufacturers. Tests were

made for retention of fine precipitates, time of flow of water, ash, and wet bursting

strength by modified methods developed at the Bureau. Density, alpha-cellulose, copper

number, and acidity were also evaluated. Instances of filter paper becoming too brittle for

use through deterioration have been observed. Stable papers are characterized by a high

content of alpha-cellulose, a low copper number, and low acidity. Furthermore, the

degraded cellulose of deteriorated filter papers may cause erroneous analytical results.

Recommended standards are given for the properties considered of the most importance:

alpha-cellulose, copper number, acidity, ash, bursting strength, and water flow rate.

(Scribdner, 1947)

Paper production. Freshwater algal biomass and orange and lemon peels were

analyzed as tissue paper pulp supplements. The cellulose and hemicellulose contents of

algal biomass were 7.1% and 16.3%, respectively, while for citrus peels cellulose content

ranged from 12.7-13.6% and hemicellulose from 5.3-6.1%. For all the materials, lignin

and ash content was equal to or less than 2%, making them appropriate for use as paper

pulp supplements. The addition of algal biomass to paper pulp has significantly increased

its mechanical strength. However, brightness was adversely affected by chlorophyll. The

incorporation of citrus peels in paper pulp had no effect on the breaking length, increased

bursting strength and decreased tearing resistance. Citrus peel particles behave as

coloured pigments thereby negatively influenced the brightness at 10% proportions. The

cost of both materials is approximately 45% lower than that of a conventional pulp,

generating a 0.9–4.5% reduction in final paper price upon their incorporation to the pulp.

(Ververis, 2007)


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Big plans underway for a Philippine microalgae industry. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Onondaga Resource Recovery Agency. (1998) Waste Reduction is a Smart Business


Giordano, M. (2014). Algae. Current Biology, 24 (13) R590.

Myklestad, S. (1972). Production of carbohydrates by the marine diatom Chaetoceros

affinis var. willei (Gran) Hustedt. I. Effect of the concentration of nutrients in the

culture medium. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 9 (2), 125-


McGinnis, K. M. (1997). Characterization of the growth and lipid content of the diatom

Chaetoceros muelleri. Journal of Applied Phycology 9 (1), 19–24.

Myklestad, S. (1989). Rate of release of extracellular amino acids and carbohydrates

from the marine diatom Chaetoceros affinis. Journal of Plankton Research 11 (4),


Ververis, C. (2007). Cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin and ash content of some organic

materials and their suitability for use as paper pulp supplements. Bioresource

Technology 98 (2), 296-301.

Scribdner, B. W. (1947). Development of Standards for Analytical Filter Papers. Journal

of Research of the National Bureau of Standards 39.