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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(7), 12523-12542;

Applications of Biosurfactants in the Petroleum Industry and the Remediation of Oil Spills

Post-Graduate Program in Biotechnology, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, CEP 52.171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
Center for Management of Technology and Innovation—CGTI, Rua da Praia, n.11, São José, CEP 50.020-550 Recife, PE, Brazil
Center for Sciences and Technology, Catholic University of Pernambuco, Rua do Príncipe, n. 526, Boa Vista, CEP 50.050-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 May 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 15 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
Full-Text   |   PDF [719 KB, uploaded 15 July 2014]


Petroleum hydrocarbons are important energy resources. However, petroleum is also a major pollutant of the environment. Contamination by oil and oil products has caused serious harm, and increasing attention has been paid to the development and implementation of innovative technologies for the removal of these contaminants. Biosurfactants have been extensively used in the remediation of water and soil, as well as in the main stages of the oil production chain, such as extraction, transportation, and storage. This diversity of applications is mainly due to advantages such as biodegradability, low toxicity and better functionality under extreme conditions in comparison to synthetic counterparts. Moreover, biosurfactants can be obtained with the use of agro-industrial waste as substrate, which helps reduce overall production costs. The present review describes the potential applications of biosurfactants in the oil industry and the remediation of environmental pollution caused by oil spills. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface tension; industrial wastes; patents; sustainable technologies surface tension; industrial wastes; patents; sustainable technologies
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Silva, R.D.C.F.S.; Almeida, D.G.; Rufino, R.D.; Luna, J.M.; Santos, V.A.; Sarubbo, L.A. Applications of Biosurfactants in the Petroleum Industry and the Remediation of Oil Spills. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 12523-12542.

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