Extreme environments: a source of biosurfactants for biotechnological applications

Júnia Schultz, Alexandre Soares Rosado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The surfactant industry moves billions of dollars a year and consists of chemically synthesized molecules usually derived from petroleum. Surfactant is a versatile molecule that is widely used in different industrial areas, with an emphasis on the petroleum, biomedical and detergent industries. Recently, interest in environmentally friendly surfactants that are resistant to extreme conditions has increased because of consumers' appeal for sustainable products and industrial processes that often require these characteristics. With this context, the need arises to search for surfactants produced by microorganisms coming from extreme environments and to mine their unique biotechnological potential. The production of biosurfactants is still incipient and presents challenges regarding economic viability due to the high costs of cultivation, production, recovery and purification. Advances can be made by exploring the extreme biosphere and bioinformatics tools. This review focuses on biosurfactants produced by microorganisms from different extreme environments, presenting a complete overview of what information is available in the literature, including the advances, challenges and future perspectives, as well as showing the possible applications of extreme biosurfactants.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-206
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

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Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2021-02-16


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