Microbial Surfactants: Alternative to Vegetable Oil Surfactants

  • Eduardo J. Gudiña
  • Lígia R. RodriguesEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1995)


Biosurfactants, surface active molecules synthesized by microorganisms, represent a promising alternative to the synthetic surfactants in many different applications. Among them, rhamnolipids have attracted considerable attention in the last years due to their extraordinary surface-active properties and biological activities. Rhamnolipids are usually synthesized by the gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa as complex mixtures of different congeners. In this chapter, we describe the most common techniques that can be used for the production, recovery and purification of rhamnolipids, using two sequential chromatographic techniques to recover and separate the monorhamnolipid and dirhamnolipid congeners.

Key words

Surfactant Biosurfactant Rhamnolipid Pseudomonas aeruginosa Adsorption chromatography Orcinol Silica gel 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the scope of the strategic funding of UID/BIO/04469/2019 unit and BioTecNorte operation (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000004), the project MultiBiorefinery (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016403), and Gudiña E postdoctoral grant CEB-BPD/01/2015/07, all funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the scope of Norte2020—Programa Operacional Regional do Norte. Rodrigues LR also acknowledges her sabbatical leave fellowship (SFRH/BSAB/142991/2018) funded by FCT.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEB–Centre of Biological EngineeringUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal

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