Biosurfactant—Enhanced bioremediation of hydrophobic pollutants

Cameotra, Swaranjit Singh (2008) Biosurfactant—Enhanced bioremediation of hydrophobic pollutants. Journal of Biotechnology, 136. S678. ISSN 01681656

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Biosurfactants are surface-active compounds synthesized by a wide variety of microorganisms. They are molecules that have both hydrophobic and hydrophilic domains and are capable of lowering the surface tension and the interfacial tension of the growth medium. Biosurfactants possess different chemical structures—lipopeptides, glycolipids, neutral lipids and fatty acids. They are non-toxic biomolecules that are biodegradable. Biosurfactants also exhibit strong emulsification of hydrophobic compounds and form stable emulsions. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), crude oil sludge and pesticides can be toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds that pollute the environment. They are released to the environment as a result of spillage of oil and by-products of coal treatment processes. The low water solubility of these compounds limits their availability to microorganisms, which is a potential problem for bioremediation of contaminated sites. Microbially produced surfactants enhance the bioavailability of these hydrophobic compounds for bioremediation. Therefore, biosurfactant-enhanced solubility of pollutants has potential applications in bioremediation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Depositing User: Dr. K.P.S.Sengar
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 18:07
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2012 18:07

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