Caffeine is becoming a common chemical found in the environment but, little research has been done to understand the environmental effects of caffeine, including dissolved caffeine in aquatic systems. The goal of this research study was to begin to understand how caffeine may interact with aquatic environment, using the bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas, commonly found in the aquatic habitat. We found that Pseudomonas shows an increase in growth when exposed to caffeine, which results in a change in spectrophotometric absorbance, increase in bacterial colony count in the presence of caffeine, and in bio-film like sheen appearing on the glass of the experimental aquarium. Along with the increased bacterial growth, a dramatic increase in ammonia concentrations was observed. Ammonia is toxic to fish, and can be correlated with the metabolic activity of the Pseudomonas bacteria, making the caffeinated environment toxic for aquatic life.
Caffeine, Aquatic Systems
Gibson, Adrienne M.; Morgan, Roderick M.; and Nikitin, Alexey G., "The Effect of Caffeine on the Bacterial Populations in a Freshwater Aquarium System" (2009). Student Summer Scholars. Paper 31.