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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352186

Research Project: Commercial Products from Microbial Lipids

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

Title: Microbial Lipids for Potential Tribological Applications – An Overview

item Solaiman, Daniel
item Ashby, Richard - Rick
item Biresaw, Girma

Submitted to: Surfactants in Tribology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/8/2018
Publication Date: 7/30/2019
Citation: Solaiman, D., Ashby, R.D., Biresaw, G. 2019. Microbial lipids for potential tribological applications – An overview. In: Biresaw G, and Mittal Kl, editors. Boca Raton, FL: Surfactants in Tribology, Volume 6. CRC Press. p. 57-72.

Interpretive Summary: Many prokaryotic Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and the eukaryotic yeasts, fungi, and algae are able to produce microbial lipids (MLs) in the form of triacylglycerols and glycolipids. Because these MLs are produced using “green” bioprocess of fermentation, and because they are generally benign to the eco-system, these MLs are attractive substitutes for their petroleum-based chemicals. In this review article, the production of MLs by many microorganisms was surveyed to document the potential product yields and fatty acid compositions. Their potential applications in the tribology field were also discussed. The information herein provides foundational knowledge base for further research and development to explore the use of these biobased MLs in the tribology fields.

Technical Abstract: The last half-a-century has seen tremendous advances in biobased economy in which bioproducts have made a significant strife in the commercial world. Microbial lipids such as triacylglycerols, glycolipids, and fatty acids are examples in which biofuels and oleochemicals derived from these lipids have shown up in the markets. Nevertheless, the vast commercial potential of the microbial lipids still await full exploitation through more research and development efforts. In this overview article, we survey the current landscape of microbial lipid production by microalgae and bacteria, and commenting on the prospective potentials of these lipids in tribological applications. It is optimistic that with further R&D efforts to improve the unique tribological properties of the microbial lipids, biobased lubricants and additives could be derived from them for commercial application.