Characterization of biosurfactants and their use in pollution removal state of the art (Review)

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Surface-active compounds of biological origin (biosurfactants) have only been described in the past few decades. With the advantage of biodegradability and production on renewable resources, biosurfactants have been gaining prominence and their applications are becoming wider. So far, literature contains mixed reports on the successes of the applications of biosurfactants and their economical viability. They remain compounds which are not very well understood, yet, with Several important applications. The target industries for biosurfactant use are the petroleum remediation industries and environmental conservation agencies. These industries, however, seem reluctant to use them for fear of dealing with microbes or microbial products. This includes cleaning up oil spills from the environment, remediation of metal-contaminated soils or waste streams, mobilizing heavy oil sludge and enhanced oil recovery. The importance of biosurfactants, their production, characteristics and limited successes and applications in oil pollution remediation and oil storage tank cleaning are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-267
JournalACTA Biotechnologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1995


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