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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(2), 1232-1244; doi:10.3390/ijms12021232

Characterization and Emulsification Properties of Rhamnolipid and Sophorolipid Biosurfactants and Their Applications

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Utah, 50 S Central Campus Drive, MEB 3290, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
2
Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, Institute for Applied Surfactant Research, University of Oklahoma, 202 W. Boyd, CEC 334, Norman, OK 73019, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 November 2010 / Revised: 9 February 2011 / Accepted: 12 February 2011 / Published: 18 February 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosurfactants)
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Abstract

Due to their non-toxic nature, biodegradability and production from renewable resources, research has shown an increasing interest in the use of biosurfactants in a wide variety of applications. This paper reviews the characterization of rhamnolipid and sophorolipid biosurfactants based on their hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity and their ability to form microemulsions with a range of oils without additives. The use of the biosurfactants in applications such as detergency and vegetable oil extraction for biodiesel application is also discussed. Rhamnolipid was found to be a hydrophilic surfactant while sophorolipid was found to be very hydrophobic. Therefore, rhamnolipid and sophorolipid biosurfactants in mixtures showed robust performance in these applications.
Keywords: rhamnolipid biosurfactant; sophorolipid biosurfactant; characterization; microemulsions; application rhamnolipid biosurfactant; sophorolipid biosurfactant; characterization; microemulsions; application
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nguyen, T.T.; Sabatini, D.A. Characterization and Emulsification Properties of Rhamnolipid and Sophorolipid Biosurfactants and Their Applications. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 1232-1244.

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