Development of a Cradle-to-Grave Approach for Acetylated Acidic Sophorolipid Biosurfactants

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Microbial production of biosurfactants represents one of the most interesting alternatives to classical petrol-based compounds due to their low toxicity, high biodegradability, and biological production processes from renewable bioresources. However, some of the main drawbacksgenerally encountered are the low productivities and the small number of chemical structures available, which limit widespread application of biosurfactants. Although chemical derivatization of (microbial) biosurfactants offers opportunities to broaden the panel of available molecules, direct microbial synthesis is still the preferred option and the use of engineered strains is becoming a valid alternative. In this multidisciplinary work we show the entire process of conception, upscaling of fermentation (150 L) and sustainable purification (filtration), application (foaming, solubilization, antibacterial), and life cycle analysis of acetylated acidic sophorolipids, directly produced by the Starmerella bombicola esterase knock out yeast strain, rather than purified using chromatography from the classical, but complex, mixture of acidic and lactonic sophorolipids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1186-1198
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 10 Jan 2017


  • Starmerella bombicola
  • Glycolipids
  • Self-assembly
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Antimicrobial
  • Genetic engineering


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