In situ downstream strategies for cost-effective bio/surfactant recovery

Ziba Najmi, Gholamhossein Ebrahimipour, Andrea Franzetti, Ibrahim Banat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Since 60–80% of total costs of production are usually associated with downstream collection, separation, and purification processes, it has become advantageous to investigate how to replace traditional methods with efficient
and cost-effective alternative techniques for recovery and purification of biosurfactants. In the traditional techniques, large volumes of organic solvents are usually used for increasing production cost and the overall environmental
burden. In addition, traditional production and separation methods typically carried out in batch cultures reduce biosurfactant yields due to product inhibition and lower biosurfactants activity as a result of interaction with the
organic solvents used. However, some in situ recovery methods that allow continuous separation of bioproducts from culture broth leading to an improvement in yield production and fermentation efficiency. For biosurfactants
commercialization, enhancement of product capacity of the separation methods and the rate of product removal is critical. Recently, interest in the integration of separation methods with a production step as rapid and efficient techniques has
been increasing. This review focuses on the technology gains and potentials for the most common methods used in in situ product removal: foam fractionation and ultrafiltration, especially used to recover and purify two well-known biosurfactants: glycolipids (rhamnolipids) and lipopeptides (surfactins).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-532
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and Applied Biochemistry
Issue number4
Early online date3 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jul 2018


  • biosurfactants
  • foam fraction
  • rhamnolipids
  • surfactins
  • ultrafiltration


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