Hydrocarbon emulsification and enhanced crude oil degradation by lauroyl glucose ester

Dhanashree S Kelkar, Ameeta R Kumar, Smita S Zinjarde
Bioresource Technology 2007, 98 (7): 1505-8
Enzymatically synthesized lauroyl glucose emulsified different hydrophobic substrates when assayed spectrophotometrically. Stable emulsions were formed with triglycerides as well as with hydrocarbons. There was a linear relation between the concentration of lauroyl glucose (50-450 microg) and emulsification activity under the assay conditions when tested with aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons. This sugar ester was able to emulsify the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene, toluene and xylene. Long chain alkanes (n-decane and n-hexadecane) as well as brominated long chain alkanes (1-bromodecane and 1-bromohexadecane) were efficiently emulsified. The effect of lauroyl glucose ester on degradation of crude oil by a known oil-degrading Rhodococcus species was also investigated. The culture showed enhanced degradation of crude oil when lauroyl glucose ester was used as an emulsifier. It degraded 70% of the aliphatic fraction of Bombay High crude oil in the presence of the sugar ester at a concentration of 200mg l(-1) as compared to 50% without the emulsifier.

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