Biosurfactant Production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Grown in Residual Soybean Oil

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa PACL strain, isolated from oil-contaminated soil taken from a lagoon, was used to investigate the efficiency and magnitude of biosurfactant production, using different waste frying soybean oils, by submerged fermentation in stirred tank reactors of 6 and 10 l capacities. A complete factorial experimental design was used, with the goal of optimizing the aeration rate (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 vvm) and agitation speed (300, 550, and 800 rpm). Aeration was identified as the primary variable affecting the process, with a maximum rhamnose concentration occurring at an aeration rate of 0.5 vvm. At optimum levels, a maximum rhamnose concentration of 3.3 g/l, an emulsification index of 100%, and a minimum surface tension of 26.0 dynes/cm were achieved. Under these conditions, the biosurfactant production derived from using a mixture of waste frying soybean oil (WFSO) as a carbon source was compared to production when non-used soybean oil (NUSO), or waste soybean oils used to fry specific foods, were used. NUSO produced the highest level of rhamnolipids, although the waste soybean oils also resulted in biosurfactant production of 75–90% of the maximum value. Under ideal conditions, the kinetic behavior and the modeling of the rhamnose production, nutrient consumption, and cellular growth were established. The resulting model predicted data points that corresponded well to the empirical information.

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