Commercial opportunities for bio(microalgae) based biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers

Pattanathu Rahman

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Solar energy in the production of polysaccharides has been generally overlooked, despite high product yields and wide variety of polysaccharide production. However, due to current market demand for alternatives to synthetic surfactants and emulsifiers, the production of polysaccharides with surface active properties is attracting the attention of industrial biotechnology focused european bioeconomy initiatives. Oceanic biological surface active compounds still represent a major untapped and unexplored area of research. Algal exopolysaccharides (EPS) represent a huge range of structures. They are high-molecular-weight structures (1 0-30kDa) which encompass homopolymeric and heteropolymeric compositions. EPS structure varies widely between different genera of algae and is generally considered to be related to the environmental conditions on the organism. The majority of EPS formation involves the linking of a nucleotide sugar to a lipid carrier molecule by glycosyltransferases. Conversion of glucose-6-phosphate to glucose-1-phosphate, a nucleotide sugar precursor, by phosphoglucomutase, is essential to the nucleotide sugar synthesis. They are gaining much attention in relation to potential bioemulsifier properties. In particular, the green micro-algae Dunaliella salina and red algae Porphyridium cruentum are receiving attention as robust EPS producers with industrial application. Biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers share many environmental advantages, over their chemically synthesised counterparts. They are highly biodegradable and have low toxicity. There is also an abundance of raw materials for the production of these molecules and they are highly biocompatible.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2015
    EventBBSRC Phyconet and Algal Bioenergy Special Interest Group conference on ‘Commercialising microalgae: Determining Industry Needs’ - NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Duration: 16 Jun 201516 Jun 2015


    ConferenceBBSRC Phyconet and Algal Bioenergy Special Interest Group conference on ‘Commercialising microalgae: Determining Industry Needs’
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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