A gram-positive, nonfermentative, rod-shaped bacterium designated St-5, identified as Rhodococcus, was isolated from Kuwait soil. Grown on hydrocarbon, such as kerosene and n-paraffin, the bacterium produced surface-active compounds (biosurfactants). Measurements of surface tension, critical micelle dilution and emulsifying activity indicated that the biosurfactant is produced as a primary metabolite. The ST-5 culture surface-active component is mainly glycolipid in nature. Whole-culture broth dropped surface tension to values below 27 mN/m and was stable during, exposure to high salinity (10% NaCl), elevated temperatures (120-degrees-C for 15 min) and a wide range of pH values. The culture broth was effective in recovering up to 86% of the residual oil from oil-saturated sand packs, indicating potential value in enhanced oil-recovery processes.
|Publication status||Published - 1991|