Biosurfactants from Soil Microorganisms as a Possible Detergent Replacement
Biosurfactants belong to the amphiphilic molecules category and are formed by a range of microorganisms. Similar to chemical surfactants, properties of Biosurfactants that make them unique include minimizing the surface and interfacial tensions. Biosurfactants also have Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) in organic and aqueous solutions. Recent studies confirm the toxic nature of chemically synthesized surfactants and the advantages of biosurfactants prove their potential than commercially artificial counterparts. Rhamnolipids are well-characterized and promising compounds among other biosurfactants. In this study, biosurfactants producing microorganisms were isolated from the soil. The isolated microorganism was identified with different biochemical tests and found to be Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 16s rRNA locus was utilized for DNA bar-coding. Production of biosurfactants was done at shake flask level and 5L lab-scale fermenter using minimal media optimized for high yield. Cell-free supernatant was purified using LLE and biosurfactants characterization was performed on HPTLC and HPLC using standard Rhamnolipids. The isolated biosurfactants were tested to remove common stains and were found effective. This shows the potential of biosurfactants as a Laundry detergent.
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