Production of Microbial Biosurfactants by Solid‑State Cultivation
Nadia Krieger, Doumit Camilios Neto and David Alexander Mitchell
In recent years biosurfactants have attracted attention because of their low toxicity, biodegradability and ecological acceptability. However, their use is currently extremely limited due to their high cost in relation to that of chemical surfactants. Solid‑state cultivation represents an alternative technology for biosurfactant production that can bring two important advantages: firstly, it allows the use of inexpensive substrates and, secondly, it avoids the problem of foaming that complicates submerged cultivation processes for biosurfactant production. In this review we show that, despite its potential, to date relatively little attention has been given to solid‑state cultivation for biosurfactant production. We also note that this cultivation technique brings its own challenges, such as the selection of a bioreactor type that will allow adequate heat removal, of substrates with appropriate physico-chemical properties and of methods for monitoring of the cultivation process and recovering the biosurfactants from the fermented solid. With suitable efforts in research, solid‑state cultivation can be used for large‑scale production of biosurfactants.