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Revista de la Sociedad Química del Perú

Print version ISSN 1810-634X


GIRALDO, J. Daniel; GUTIERREZ, Susana  and  MERINO, Fernando. Oil emulsifying activity and removal of heavy metals by Pseudomonas aeruginosa PB 25 rhamnolipid. Rev. Soc. Quím. Perú [online]. 2014, vol.80, n.1, pp.35-44. ISSN 1810-634X.

Since the industrial revolution, the science and technology advances have increased the human ability to exploit natural resources causing pollution in ecosystems. In this context, the use of biosurfactants represents a promising alternative application for any technological process of remediation of natural environments. The objective of this work was the evaluation of the emulsifying activity and the ability to remove heavy metals with a rhamnolipidic biosurfactant produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa PB25. This strain had a specific growth rate (μ) of 0.0285 h-1 and a generational time (td) of 24.321 h. It produced 2.47 g/L rhamnolipid, with yields (Y) of 0.13 g/g and productivity of 0.082 g/L-h. The rhamnolipid had 5.257 emulsifying activity units/mL and E24 emulsification index of 53, 64, 62 and 84% for crude oil, diesel oil 2, gasoline and kerosene, respectively. It got to remove 98% of lead and 99% of cadmium in aqueous solutions at pH 11. In conclusion, it can be used in biotechnological processes.

Keywords : Remediation; biosurfactants; rhamnolipids.

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