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Application of biosurfactants in environmental biotechnology; remediation of oil and heavy metal

1 Department of Biohealth, Institute of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Department of Biotechnology, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, PMB 2076, Yola, Nigeria

Topical Section: Bioremediation of contaminated soil

Many toxic substances have been introduced into environment through human activities. These compounds are danger to human health when they are ultimately or immediately in contact with soil particles. A conventional method to reduce, degrade and remove these substances is associated with some risk. In recent years, microorganisms have proved a unique role in the degradation and detoxification of polluted soil and water environments and, this process has been termed bio reclamation. The diversity of bioemulsifiers/biosurfactants makes them an attractive group and important key roles in various fields of industrial as well as biotechnological applications such as enhanced oil recovery, biodegradation of pollutants, and pharmaceutics. Environmental application of microbial surfactant has been shown as a promising due to solubilization of low solubility compounds, low toxicity observed and efficacy in improving biodegradation. However, it is important to note that full scale tests and more information is require to predict the behavior and model of surfactant function on the remediation process with biosurfactants. The purpose of this review is to describe the state of art in the potential applications of biosurfactants in remediation of environmental pollution caused by oil and heavy metal.
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