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Recent developments in Biosurfactants

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Biosurfactants refers to surfactants from microbial origin and can be synthesized by several identified microorganisms including bacteria, yeast and fungi. They display excellent surface activity and emulsification properties with very low toxicity and higher biodegradability features as compared to chemical ...

Biosurfactants refers to surfactants from microbial origin and can be synthesized by several identified microorganisms including bacteria, yeast and fungi. They display excellent surface activity and emulsification properties with very low toxicity and higher biodegradability features as compared to chemical counterparts. They have also been found to be very effective at low concentrations and over a wide range of environmental conditions such as pH, temperature and salinity; better environmental compatibility, lower critical micelle concentration, higher selectivity, specific activity and the ability to be synthesized from renewable low cost resources. Generally chemical surfactants are preferred at industrial scale as compared to biosurfactants, mainly because of the cost difference. Nonetheless recently the trend has shifted worldwide towards producing biological counterparts at the industrial scale, because of the availability of cheaper biological alternatives, and awareness about their environmentally friendly and biodegradable nature. The global biosurfactant market is gathering pace and in the overall global market the European region is leading globally in terms of production and consumption. As recently reported by international firms in their recent reports, the global biosurfactant market is expected to grow quite rapidly with market revenues of around $25 billion by year 2018-2020 (http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/specialty-and-biosurfactants-market.html; http://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-biosurfactants-market). This lucrative biosurfactant market has already lured several world-leading chemical surfactant producing companies to venture into biosurfactant market.

This Research Topic welcomes reviews and original research on the following but is not limited to:

- OMICS applications: Applications of molecular biology tools for isolation and identification of biosurfactant producing microorganisms, and/or biosurfactant genes from different samples, sites itself, etc.
- Recent advances in our knowledge of different types of biosurfactants, novel structural details – chemical modifications, and our understanding of the genetic, biochemical and molecular mechanisms for their production
- Economically viable and competitive production using different strategies: like application of statistical optimization techniques for optimization of media, culture conditions; use of cheaper agro-industrial raw materials, etc.
- Biosurfactant production: in-situ/ex-situ production, advances in laboratory scale production and industrial scale-up, highlighting refinements in both up-scale and downstream processing, etc.
- Industrial and Environmental applications and case studies: such as enhanced light/heavy oil recovery (including in-situ production and field-scale applications), oil tankers cleaning, crude oil transport through the pipelines, heavy metal bioremediation, oil spill remediation, agricultural applications, antimicrobial role (antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral actions), medicinal and health applications (such as anticancer compounds), role in nanotechnology advances, etc.


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