Algal Cultures: Ability To Reduce Turbulent Friction in Flow

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Science  24 Sep 1965:
Vol. 149, Issue 3691, pp. 1509-1511
DOI: 10.1126/science.149.3691.1509


Liquid cultures of several freshwater and marine algae required less pressure to flow through a pipe at a given rate than the pure liquid medium before algal growth. This increased ease of flow can be attributed to long-chain polysaccharides produced in the medium during growth. Measurements of friction were used to estimate the molecular weight of an algal polysaccharide and to show the effect of bacterial action on the polymer.