Introduction to Microbial Biosurfactants

R Thavasi, Ibrahim Banat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Microorganisms produce structurally diverse metabolites with wide range of potential applications in many industrial sectors. Among such metabolites, microbial biosurfactants (BSs) are of great importance for their structural and functional diversity and broad spectrum applications (Banat 1995a, b, Desai and Banat 1997, Rodrigues et al. 2006). BSs are basically amphiphilic surface active molecules produced by bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes that belong to various chemical groups including glycolipids, glycolipoproteins, glycopeptides, lipopeptides, lipoproteins, fatty acids, phospholipids, neutral lipids, lipopolysaccharides (Desai and Banat 1997, Banat et al. 2010, Marchant and Banat 2012b), and glycoglycerolipids (Wicke et al. 2000). Their properties/applications include emulsification, foaming, detergency, dispersion, wetting, penetrating, thickening, microbial growth enhancement (e.g., oil-degrading bacteria), antimicrobial agents, antibiofilm agents, antiadhesive, metal sequestering, resource recovery (oil recovery) (Banat et al. 2010, Fracchia et al. 2014) and wound healing agents (Ju et al. 2016, Lydon et al. 2017, Gupta et al. 2017). These interesting properties allow BSs to have the ability to replace some of the most versatile chemical surfactants that are now in practice (Marchant and Banat 2012a). In addition, BSs are promising natural surfactants that offer several advantages over chemically synthesized surfactants, such as in situ production from renewable substrates, lower toxicity, biocompatibility, and complete biodegradability (Makkar et al. 2011, Banat et al. 2014).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrobial Biosurfactants and their Environmental and Industrial Applications
EditorsRengathavasi Thavasi, Ibrahim Banat
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781138197954
ISBN (Print)New York
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Dec 2018


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