Biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers from marine algae

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

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


The terms biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers have often been used interchangeably to describe surface active biomolecules. However, there are marked differences between the two especially based on their physicochemical properties and physiological roles. 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 really 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. The aim of writing this chapter is to bring into the fore the biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers from marine microalgae. The chapter presents two case studies and suggests ways to tap into this relatively lesser explored area.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Role of Microalgae in Wastewater Treatment
EditorsLala Behari Sukla, Enketeswara Subudhi, Debabrata Pradhan
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-13-1586-2
ISBN (Print)978-981-13-1585-5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2018


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