Algal biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers and their commercial potentials

Pattanathu Rahman, Aysha Mayat, Joseph Gregory Havelock Harvey, Kamaljeet Sekhon Randhawa, Louise E. Relph, Michael C. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


The global market of surfactant production in 2012 was worth approximately 27 billion dollars, however most of these surfactants are produced through petrochemical processes. To this market, biosurfactants contribute 1.76 billion dollars and this is expected to rise to 2.8 billion dollars by 2023. There is an increase in the research and development of environmentally friendly biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers from renewable resources such as algae, bacteria and yeast. Oceanic biological surface-active compounds (or biosurfactants from marine sources) still represent a major untapped and unexplored area of research. Solar energy in the production of polysaccharides has been generally overlooked, despite high product yields and wide variety of polysaccharide production. The terms biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers have often been used interchangeably to describe surface active biomolecules. Although bioemulsifiers and biosurfactants are both amphiphilic in nature and are produced by a wide range of microorganisms each exhibits characteristic roles in nature. Biosurfactants continue to receive scientific attention due to their environmentally friendly characteristics relative to chemically derived surfactants. Their unique features of being non-toxic, biodegradable, biocompatible, efficient at low concentrations and their synthesis from natural substrates under mild environmental conditions make them sought-after compounds. The combination of polysaccharide, fatty acid and protein components in bioemulsifiers confers upon them better emulsifying potential and ability to stabilize emulsions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018
Event1st Sino-British Forum on Algal Biotechnology and Biological Resources - Institute of Hydrobiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China
Duration: 18 Sept 201821 Sept 2018


Conference1st Sino-British Forum on Algal Biotechnology and Biological Resources


  • Microalgae
  • Biotechnology
  • Scale-up
  • demonstration
  • RCUK


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  • Biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers from marine algae

    Rahman, P., Mayat, A., Harvey, J. G. H., Randhawa, K. S., Relph, L. E. & Armstrong, M. C., 8 Dec 2018, The Role of Microalgae in Wastewater Treatment . Sukla, L. B., Subudhi, E. & Pradhan, D. (eds.). Springer, p. 169-188

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    Open Access

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