Distillery and curd whey wastes as viable alternative sources for biosurfactant production

  • Kirti Dubey
  • Asha Juwarkar


Biosurfactant production from synthetic medium and industrial waste, viz. distillery and whey wastes was investigated by using an oily sludge isolate Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain BS2. In synthetic medium separately supplemented with glucose and hexadecane as water-soluble and -insoluble carbon sources, respectively, strain BS2 reduced the surface tension of the fermentation broth from 57 to 27 mN/m. The culture produced biosurfactant during the stationary growth phase and its yield was 0.97 g/l. The culture utilized distillery and whey wastes for its growth, as maximum cell counts reached to 54 × 108 and 64 × 109 c.f.u./ml from an initial inoculum size of 1 × 05 c.f.u./ml, respectively, within 48 h of incubation and in these wastes the yields of biosurfactant obtained were 0.91 and 0.92 g/l, respectively. In synthetic medium, distillery and whey wastes, strain BS2 produced a crystalline biosurfactant which belonged to the category of secondary metabolites and its maximum production occurred after the onset of nitrogen-limiting conditions. After recovering biosurfactant from the fermented waste, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of distillery and whey wastes was significantly reduced by 81 and 87%, respectively. Total acids, nitrogen and phosphate levels in distillery waste were reduced by 90, 92 and 92%, respectively, while in case of whey waste the concentration of these nutrients was reduced by 88, 95 and 93%, respectively. The isolated biosurfactant possessed potent surface active properties, as it effectively reduced the surface tension of water from 72 to 27 mN/m and formed 100% stable emulsions of a variety of water-insoluble compounds such as hydrocarbons, viz. hexadecane, crude oil, kerosene and oily sludge and pesticides, viz. dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and benzene hexachloride (BHC). The effectiveness of biosurfactant was also evident from its low critical micellar concentration (CMC) which was 0.028 mg/ml.

Biosurfactant critical micellar concentration distillery waste Pseudomonas aeruginosa whey waste 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirti Dubey
    • 1
  • Asha Juwarkar
    • 1
  1. 1.National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI)Nehru Marg, NagpurIndia

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