Management of soybean oil refinery wastes through recycling them for producing biosurfactant using Pseudomonas aeruginosa MR01

Maryam Partovi, Tayebe Bagheri Lotfabad, Reza Roostaazad, Manochehr Bahmaei, Shokoufe Tayyebi
World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology 2013, 29 (6): 1039-47
Biosurfactant production through a fermentation process involving the biodegradation of soybean oil refining wastes was studied. Pseudomonas aeruginosa MR01 was able to produce extracellular biosurfactant when it was cultured in three soybean oil refinement wastes; acid oil, deodorizer distillate and soapstock, at different carbon to nitrogen ratios. Subsequent fermentation kinetics in the three types of waste culture were also investigated and compared with kinetic behavior in soybean oil medium. Biodegradation of wastes, biosurfactant production, biomass growth, nitrate consumption and the number of colony forming units were detected in four proposed media, at specified time intervals. Unexpectedly, wastes could stimulate the biodegradation activity of MR01 bacterial cells and thus biosurfactant synthesis beyond that of the refined soybean oil. This is evident from higher yields of biodegradation and production, as revealed in the waste cultures (Ydeg|(Soybean oil) = 53.9 % < Ydeg|(wastes) and YP/S|(wastes) > YP/S|(Soybean oil) = 0.31 g g(-1), respectively). Although production yields were approximately the same in the three waste cultures (YP/S|(wastes) =/~ 0.5 g g(-1)), microbial activity resulted in higher yields of biodegradation (96.5 ± 1.13 %), maximum specific growth rate (μ max = 0.26 ± 0.02 h(-1)), and biosurfactant purity (89.6 %) with a productivity of 14.55 ± 1.10 g l(-1), during the bioconversion of soapstock into biosurfactant. Consequently, applying soybean oil soapstock as a substrate for the production of biosurfactant with commercial value has the potential to provide a combination of economical production with environmental protection through the biosynthesis of an environmentally friendly (green) compound and reduction of waste load entering the environment. Moreover, this work inferred spectrophotometry as an easy method to detect rhamnolipids in the biosurfactant products.

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