Environmentally Friendly Biosurfactants Produced by Yeasts
Galba M. Campos-Takaki, Leonie Asfora Sarubbo and Clarissa Daisy C. Albuquerque
Biosurfactants are amphipathic molecules with both hydrophilic and hydrophobic (generally hydrocarbon) moieties, a structurally diverse group of surface active molecules synthesized by a variety of microorganism bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts. These molecules reduce surface and interfacial tensions in both aqueous solutions and hydrocarbon mixtures, which make them potential candidates for enhancing oil recovery and emulsification processes. Biosurfactants have several advantages over chemical surfactants, such as lower toxicity; higher biodegradability; better environmental compatibility; higher foaming; high selectivity and specific activity at extreme temperatures, pH and salinity; and the ability to be synthesized from renewable feedstock.