Production and characterisation of glycolipid biosurfactant by Halomonas sp. MB-30 for potential application in enhanced oil recovery

Asha Dhasayan, G Seghal Kiran, Joseph Selvin
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2014, 174 (7): 2571-84
Biosurfactant-producing Halomonas sp. MB-30 was isolated from a marine sponge Callyspongia diffusa, and its potency in crude oil recovery from sand pack column was investigated. The biosurfactant produced by the strain MB-30 reduced the surface tension to 30 mN m(-1) in both glucose and hydrocarbon-supplemented minimal media. The critical micelle concentration of biosurfactant obtained from glucose-based medium was at 0.25 mg ml(-1) at critical micelle dilution 1:10. The chemical structure of glycolipid biosurfactant was characterised by infrared spectroscopy and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The emulsification activity of MB-30 biosurfactant was tested with different hydrocarbons, and 93.1 % emulsification activity was exhibited with crude oil followed by kerosene (86.6 %). The formed emulsion was stable for up to 1 month. To identify the effectiveness of biosurfactant for enhanced oil recovery in extreme environments, the interactive effect of pH, temperature and salinity on emulsion stability with crude oil and kerosene was evaluated. The stable emulsion was formed at and above pH 7, temperature >80 °C and NaCl concentration up to 10 % in response surface central composite orthogonal design model. The partially purified biosurfactant recovered 62 % of residual crude oil from sand pack column. Thus, the stable emulsifying biosurfactant produced by Halomonas sp. MB-30 could be used for in situ biosurfactant-mediated enhanced oil recovery process and hydrocarbon bioremediation in extreme environments.

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