Marine derived biosurfactants: a vast potential future resource

Lakshmi Tripathi, Victor Irorere, R Marchant, Ibrahim Banat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)
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Surfactants and emulsifiers are surfaceactive compounds (SACs) which play an important role in various industrial processes and products due to their interfacial properties. Many of the chemical surfactants in use today are produced from nonrenewable petrochemical feedstocks, while biosurfactants
(BS) produced by microorganisms from renewable feedstocks are considered viable alternatives to petroleum based surfactants, due to their biodegradability
and eco-friendly nature. However, some well characterised BS producers are pathogenic and therefore, not appropriate for scaled-up production. Marine-
derived BS have been found to be produced by non-pathogenic organisms making them attractive possibilities for exploitation in commercial products.
Additionally, BS produced from marine bacteria may show excellent activity at extreme conditions (temperature, pH and salinity). Despite being non-pathogenic, marine-derived BS have not been exploited commercially due to their low yields, insufficient structural elucidation and uncharacterised genes.
Therefore, optimization of BS production conditions in marine bacteria, characterization of the compounds produced as well as the genes involved in the biosynthesis are necessary to improve cost-efficiency and realise the industrial demands of SACs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 25 Aug 2018


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