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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Method for Producing Surfactants
See also: US Patent Office Full Record

Patent Number: 7718782
Docket Number: 4305
Serial Number: 11484214
Date Patented: 05/18/2010

Technology Description: 


ARS scientists in Pennsylvania have developed a method for producing new sophorolipids (a class of biosurfactants) with improved properties.  Surfactants allow two substances to be mixed together that typically do not mix (e.g. oil and water), and it allows solid material to remain in liquid (e.g. pigments in paint).  Surfactants are used in coatings, like paint, to make them more spreadable.  ARS’s technology improves the physical properties of these compounds by overcoming their poor water solubility.  Sophorolipids can be used in a variety of products, and are environmentally desirable because of their biodegradable and low toxic properties.  Microbial fermentation processes are currently used to produce sophorolipids.  ARS has also developed the technology to make sophorolipids by fermenting various agricultural byproducts, such as the glycerine-rich co-product from biodiesel production.  In 2002, surfactants were used in 25.5 billion U.S. consumer products, worth $42.5 billion retail.  Within the U.S. market, surfactant consumption is expected to grow 3% a year (from 2.5 billion pounds to 3.17 billion pounds) through 2010, driven primarily by laundry and dishwashing products.  ARS is seeking an industry partner to further develop this technology. 


Detergents, cleaning solutions, cosmeceuticals, and antimicrobials.



Please refer to S.N. 11/484,214 (Docket # 0043.05), filed on 7/11/06, can be found on the U.S. Patent Trademark Website:  Foreign rights are not available.




Daniel Solaiman

Thomas A. Foglia

Eastern Regional Research Center

(Same as first inventor)

Wyndmoor, PA 19038

Phone: (215) 233-6480

Phone: (215) 233-6476

Fax: (215) 233-6795




Richard D. Ashby

Michael J. Haas

(Same as first inventor)

(Same as first inventor)

Phone: (215) 233-6483

Phone: (215) 233-6459




Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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