Recovery of Oceanic Biosurfactants to improve carbon uptake to evaluate the global carbon cycle

Project Details


In localised areas, marine biosurfactants produced by aquatic microorganisms can reduce the gas exchange between the air/sea interface, limiting the drawdown and subsequent removal of anthropogenic CO2. This research aims to quantify the impacts biosurfactants have on the sea surface microlayer (SML). This research is significant and unique as it will lead the estimation and initial quantification of the impacts that biosurfactants can have on carbon drawdown, ocean acidification and in refining further ocean mixing models. Ocean biosurfactants is an emerging area of interest, and their potential impacts on the air sea interface are not fully understood. We will utilise expertise from within an interdisciplinary team lead by Dr Pat Rahman (PI, Biological Sciences), Dr David Hutchinson (COI, Technology), Dr Keiron Roberts (COI, Technology), Prof John Williams (COI, Technology) and Dr Fay Couceiro (COI: Technology). This work is closely linked to the recent work published by Periera et al., (2018), whom found up to 32% reduction in CO2 exchange relative to surfactant-free water. With the UoPs Technology teams experience relates to gas exchange in water and biosurfactants expertise from Biologists, the researchers undertake laboratory scale experimentation (tubes to flasks), the air/sea interface will be replicated under varying concentrations of biosurfactants, abiotic (sea state conditions), biotic and CO2 concentrations, to produce an initial database for improving understanding of these interactions and secure future research council funding.
Reference: Periera et al., 2018, Nature Geoscience, 11: 492–496.
Short title(TRIF - EOI)
Effective start/end date29/01/1931/07/20


  • TRIF


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.