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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Applications of Microbial Biosurfactants

Author
item Solaiman, Daniel

Submitted to: Inform
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2005
Citation: Solaiman, D. 2005. Applications of microbial biosurfactants. Inform. 16(7):408-410.

Technical Abstract: Many microorganisms produce chemicals with special "amphiphatic" structures. As a result, these chemicals have the properties of a surfactant, and are called microbial biosurfactants. They are attractive substitutes for currently used surfactants because they can be produced from renewable feedstocks (including agricultural byproducts) using "green" (i.e., non-chemical) technologies, are biodegradable, and have low to no toxicity. Furthermore, some of these biosurfactants have special properties such as metal-chelating capability and antimicrobial activity. In this manuscript, the potential applications of the four most studied microbial biosurfactants (i.e., emulsan, surfactin, rhamnolipids, and sophorolipids) are described. The current commercialization status of these biosurfactants is also highlighted.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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