Integrated production and separation of biosurfactants

Ben M. Dolman, Fuju Wang, James B. Winterburn

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    Environmentally friendly, microbially produced surfactants known as biosurfactants have recently seen an explosion in commercial activity and interest due to a reduction in the cost of production, though these costs still limit biosurfactant use in bulk applications. These high production costs are primarily the result of the typically low productivities of large scale biosurfactant production processes and hence the large production volumes required, as well as process engineering challenges related to the nature of the biosurfactant produced. This review details the use of integrated separation technologies, primarily gravity, membrane and foam fractionation separations, in integrated biosurfactant producing fermentations, to tackle these difficulties. An analysis of the scalability of the available technologies and the expected impact on process economics is presented, demonstrating the potential utility of integrated separation processes for bringing biosurfactants into mainstream commercialisation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Early online date2 May 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Integrated separation
    • fermentation
    • biosurfactant
    • gravity separation
    • foam fractionation
    • membrane separation


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