Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 34, Issue 9, pp 1597–1605 | Cite as

Biosurfactants: a sustainable replacement for chemical surfactants?

  • Roger MarchantEmail author
  • Ibrahim M. Banat


Glycolipid biosurfactants produced by bacteria and yeasts provide significant opportunities to replace chemical surfactants with sustainable biologically produced alternatives in bulk commercial products such as laundry detergents and surface cleaners. Sophorolipids are already available in sufficient yield to make their use feasible while rhamnolipids and mannosylerythritol lipids require further development. The ability to tailor the biosurfactant produced to the specific needs of the product formulation will be an important future step.


Biofilm Cleaning products Glycolipid biosurfactants Mannosylerythritol lipids Oil spills Rhamnolipids Sophorolipids Wound healing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of UlsterNorthern IrelandUK

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