Dissolved air flotation combined to biosurfactants: a clean and efficient alternative to treat industrial oily water

  • Fernanda Cristina P. Rocha e Silva
  • Nathalia Maria P. Rocha e Silva
  • Juliana M. Luna
  • Raquel D. Rufino
  • Valdemir A. Santos
  • Leonie A. SarubboEmail author
Mini Review


The present review was motivated by the increasing demand of environmental regulatory agencies for the treatment of oily water generated during industrial activities. Flotation is a promising process for this purpose. Particularly, dissolved air flotation (DAF) is the most indicated technology due to its high efficiency and the possibility of controlling the physical variables, such as microbubble size, residence time and concentration of the effluent. DAF can also be optimised with the use of biodegradable tensioactive agents that increase the adhesion of oil particles, thereby enhancing the efficiency of the process. Among such tensioactive agents, biosurfactants are a viable, innovative, eco-friendly option with important properties, such as a reduction in surface tension, low toxicity and stability in the presence of adverse environmental conditions. Therefore, the aim of the present review is to offer a new perspective regarding the use of the flotation process combined with these specific biomolecules.


Oily water Emulsions Flotation DAF Biosurfactants Environmental pollution 



This study was funded by the Foundation for the Support of Science and Technology of the State of Pernambuco (FACEPE), the Research and Development Program from National Agency of Electrical Energy (ANEEL), the Thermoelectric Company of Candeias (Global Group) code PD-06961-0005/2016, the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level Education Personnel (CAPES). The authors are grateful to the laboratories of the Centre for Sciences and Technology of the Catholic University of Pernambuco, Brazil.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernanda Cristina P. Rocha e Silva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nathalia Maria P. Rocha e Silva
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Juliana M. Luna
    • 3
    • 4
  • Raquel D. Rufino
    • 2
    • 3
  • Valdemir A. Santos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Leonie A. Sarubbo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Northeast Biotechnology NetworkFederal Rural University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Centre of Science and TechnologyCatholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP)RecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Advanced Institute of Technology and Innovation (IATI)RecifeBrazil
  4. 4.Centre for Biologial Sciences and HealthCatholic University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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