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It has been reported that 2–3 % of screened populations in uncontaminated soils are biosurfactant-producing microorganisms.This figure increases to 25 % in polluted soils (Bodour et al. On the other hand, enrichment culture techniques specific for hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria may lead to a much higher detection of biosurfactant producers with estimates up to 80 % (Rahman et al. Biosurfactants produced by microorganisms are grouped into two different classes based on their chemical composition, viz., low molecular weight surface-active agents called biosurfactants and high molecular weight biosurfactants referred to as bioemulsifiers.For each soil source, soil samples were randomly collected from different points at depths between 0 and 15 cm using a hand-held soil auger and then bulked to get a composite sample.
This superbug was earlier engineered by Anand Mohan Chakrabarty (Indian-borne American) in 1979.
The bug which was able to grow rapidly and produce surface-active substances that degrade hydrocarbon was a hybrid of Pseudomonas putida.
Various experiments with laboratory scale of sand-packed columns and field trials have successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of biosurfactants in microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR).
The use of biosurfactants in MEOR can be implemented in two different ways as either an ex situ biosurfactant injection or in situ biosurfactant production to achieve an increase in oil recovery from subsurface reservoirs (Banat et al. Both of them require that the biosurfactants and their producing microorganisms are able to tolerate the harsh environmental conditions, such as high salinities, temperatures, and pressures.
This study investigated the isolation, characterization, and application in hydrocarbon emulsification of biosurfactant by Klebsiella pneumoniae strain IVN51 isolated from hydrocarbon-contaminated soil in Ogoniland, Nigeria.
The soil samples used for bacterial isolation were obtained from the Kporghor community of Tai Local Government Area (Ogoniland), in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
The biosurfactant screening techniques employed were emulsification assay, emulsification index (E ), lipase activity, haemolytic assay, oil spreading, and tilted glass slide.
The bacterial isolate was identified based on phenotypic, biochemical, and molecular means.
The different classes of biosurfactant find application in different industrial processes.
The attention given to the production of biosurfactants in recent times is mainly due to their potential utilization in food processing, pharmacology, cosmetics, oil exploration and exploitation industries, environmental management, and agriculture (Makkar and Cameotra 2002; Mulligan 2005).