Biosurfactants are amphiphilic compounds produced in living spaces or excreted extracellular hydrophobic and hydrophilic confer on the organism the ability to accumulate between fluid phases thus reducing surface and interfacial tension.
Advantages of biosurfactants Biosurfactants have many advantages when compared to their chemically synthesized counterparts, some of these are:
Biodegradability: Biological surfactants are easily degraded by microorganism .
Low toxicity: Biosurfactant demonstrate higher toxicity than the chemical-derived surfactants. It was also reported that biosurfactants
Availability of raw materials: Biosurfactants can be produced from locally available raw materials which are available in large quantities. The carbon source may come from hydrocarbons, carbohydrates and /or lipids, which may be used separately or in combination with each other.
Physical factors: Many biosurfactants are not affected by environmental factors such as temperature, pH and ionic strength tolerances. Biosasurfactants are not affected by temperature ranges of up to 50°C, a pH range of 4-5- 9.0, and NaCl concentration of 50g/l and Ca concentration of 25g/l. .
Surface and interface activity: Biosurfactant can lower surface tension of water from 75 to 35mN/m and the interfacial tension water/hexadecane from 40 to 1mN/M. Biosurfactant possess the ability to reduce the surface tension of water to 25m N/M and the interfacial tension of water/hexadecane to < 1mN/M .