World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 1121–1127 | Cite as

The stimulatory effects of surfactants on composting of waste rich in cellulose

  • Jin-Gang Shi
  • Guang-Ming ZengEmail author
  • Xing-Zhong Yuan
  • Fang Dai
  • Jia Liu
  • Xiao-Hong Wu


The chemical surfactant Tween 80 and biosurfactant rhamnolipid were respectively added to the composting substrate, a mixture of rice straw and bran, and their effects on the composting process were investigated. Samples were analysed for microbial communities of bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi, carboxymethylcellulose hydrolysis (CMCase) and xylanase activities, cellulose and hemicellulose fractions, water-soluble carbon (WSC) contents in the substrates, organic matter contents and pH values during the composting process. The results showed that both Tween 80 and rhamnolipid had slight stimulatory effects on the microbial populations of bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi. In addition, rhamnolipid increased the peak xylanase activity 15% higher than that of the control, while Tween 80 increased the maximum CMCase activity 35% higher than that of the control. As a result of the increased enzyme activities, treatments with Tween 80 and rhamnolipid were of higher WSC contents than the control during the whole composting process. Accordingly, the composting process was accelerated by the surfactants, since the organic matter was decomposed more quickly and the breakdown of cellulose and hemicellulose was better in the treatments with Tween 80 and rhamnolipid.


Tween 80 Rhamnolipid Composting Cellulose CMCase Xylanase 


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This study was financially supported by the National 863 High Technology Research Program of China (2004AA649370) and the National Basic Research Program (973 Program) (No. 2005CB724203).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin-Gang Shi
    • 1
  • Guang-Ming Zeng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xing-Zhong Yuan
    • 1
  • Fang Dai
    • 1
  • Jia Liu
    • 1
  • Xiao-Hong Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringHunan UniversityChangshaP. R. China

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