Recent developments in Biosurfactants

Pattanathu Rahman (Editor), Sanket Joshi (Editor), Randhir Makkar (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Biosurfactants refers to surfactants from microbial origin and can be synthesized by several identified microorganisms including bacteria, yeast and fungi. They display excellent surface activity and emulsification properties with very low toxicity and higher biodegradability features as compared to chemical counterparts. They have also been found to be very effective at low concentrations and over a wide range of environmental conditions such as pH, temperature and salinity; better environmental compatibility, lower critical micelle concentration, higher selectivity, specific activity and the ability to be synthesized from renewable low cost resources. Generally chemical surfactants are preferred at industrial scale as compared to biosurfactants, mainly because of the cost difference. Nonetheless recently the trend has shifted worldwide towards producing biological counterparts at the industrial scale, because of the availability of cheaper biological alternatives, and awareness about their environmentally friendly and biodegradable nature. The global biosurfactant market is gathering pace and in the overall global market the European region is leading globally in terms of production and consumption. As recently reported by international firms in their recent reports, the global biosurfactant market is expected to grow quite rapidly with market revenues of around $25 billion by year 2018-2020 (; This lucrative biosurfactant market has already lured several world-leading chemical surfactant producing companies to venture into biosurfactant market.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusEarly online - 11 Jul 2017


  • Biosurfactants
  • Microbiology
  • Biotechnology


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