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Article 1 summary
Article 2 summary
Personal Opinion
Hey guys,
I am Li Zhe Wong, a third year student undertaking a double major
in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology with a minor in Infection
and Immunity.
I choose this topic because I am amazed with how microbes can
produce biosurfactant with the use of alternate carbon source to
clear up the oil spills that occur in the vast area of the oceans.
Back to Overview
Oil is like chocolate. It’s dark brown and gooey (Emily and Voigt, 2011).
Pollution caused by petroleum hydrocarbons in terrestrial and aquatic
environment leads to significant ecological and social problems (Thavasi et
al., 2011). (pict.)
Biodegradation in aquatic environment is limited by the availability of
nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) which are necessary for microbial
growth (Thavasi et al., 2011).
Biosurfactant produced by microbes is the solution to oil spills.
Biosurfactants have not been employed in industry due to the relatively high
production costs (Thavasi et al., 2007).
Alternative cheaper substrates for biosurfactant production have been used.
The aims of the following papers are to determine which microbes and
substrates are most effective in producing the biosurfactant.
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Article 1 Summary
Biosurfactants are surface active organic compounds produced by
bacteria (Thavasi et al., 2007).
Applications of biosurfactant includes excellent detergency,
emulsification, microbial enhancement, resource recovering (oil) which
make surfactants substitute with some of the most versatile process
Biosurfactants have the ability to rapidly emulsify the oil and therefore
facilitate fast microbial growth.
Advantages of biosurfactans includes low toxicity , biodegradability and
ecological acceptability.
Most known biosurfactants are glycolipids (Thavasi et al., 2007).
Problems: Limited yield (productivity), batch process and substrate
inhibition could occur.
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Application of biosurfactant produced from peanut oil cake by Lactobacillus delbreuckii
in biodegradation of crude oil (Thavasi et al., 2011).
 Biosurfactants are surface active compounds produced by microorganisms. It received
considerable attention in environmental bioremediation processes. However, it has not
been used extensively due to the high cost production rate. In order to overcome this
barrier and enhance biosurfactants production by microbes, alternate carbon sources
(peanut oil cake) has been used. The aim of this papers was to investigate the
biosurfactant production by Lactobacillus delbrueckii.
Finding and Discussions:
 Biosurfactant production was carried out in a 3L fermentor. L.delbrueckii was cultured
with mineral salts medium and peanut oil cake as the carbon source. (cont.)
 Biosurfactant produced by L.delbrueckii using peanut oil cake has showed its potential to
be used in bioremediation process.
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Article 2 Summary
It was noted that biosurfactant production by L.delbrueckii with the use of
peanut oil cake generates 5.35g/l of biosurfactant (figure 1) as compared with
the use of cheese whey and malasses where they only obtained 1.45g/l and
1.7g/l respectively. This indicated the potential use of peanut oil cake as a
renewable cheaper carbon source for biosurfactant production.
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Article 1 Summary
Biosurfactant production by Corynebacterium kutscheri from waste motor lubricant oil
and peanut oil cake (Thavasi et al., 2007).
 Biosurfactants are promising natural surfactants that offer several advantages over chemically
synthesized surfactants. The reduction of the production costs of microbial biosurfactants
requires a selection of inexpensive culture media as they constitute 50% of the total production
costs. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the production of biosurfactant by
Corynebacterium kutscheri using waste motor lubricant oil and peanut oil cake.
Findings and discussions:
 Biosurfactant production was carried out in 3L fermentor using waste motor lubricant oil and
peanut oil cake as carbon source. Corynebacterium kutscheri was isolated from sea water
sample and was cultured in mineral medium. (cont.)
 Biosurfactant production by Corynebacterium kutscheri with the use of waste motor lubricant
oil and peanut oil cake suggested the possibility of industrial production of biosurfactants
using economically cheaper carbon source.
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From the results, it was observed that with the use of waste motor lubricant
oil as a carbon source, the maximum biosurfactant production by
C.kutscheri was 3.85mg/ml (figure 1).
The results differ when peanut oil cake was use instead where the maximum
biosurfactant production by C.kutscheri was 6.4mg/ml (figure 2).
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Article 2 Summary
Pollution caused by petroleum hydrocarbons in aquatic and terrestrial leads to severe
environmental degradation (Thavasi et al., 2011). The use of chemical surfactants as
remediating agents is not favorable due to their toxic effects on the existing biota in the
polluted area. Therefore, a successful bioremediation of oil spills environment still
remains as a challenge for the scientists.
Biodegradation in aquatic environment by microbial processes is limited by the nutrient
availability which are essential for the growth of the microbes.
Alternate method to overcome barrier - biosurfactants.
The articles chosen describe the various carbon sources and bacteria used to achieve a
maximum biosurfactant production .
Article 1 is a study based on the bacteria Lactobacillus delbrueckii cultured with peanut
oil cake as the carbon source yielded 5.35mg/ml of biosurfactant production.
Article 2 is a study based on the bacteria Corynebacterium kutscheri cultured with peanut
oil cake and waste motor lubricant oil as the carbon source yielded 6.4mg/ml and
3.85mg/ml respectively.
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Several similarities could be noted throughout the both articles.
Both articles report the production of biosurfactant when peanut oil
cake is used as a carbon source for both of the bacteria.
Both articles report the ability of the biosurfactant produced to
emulsify a diverse range of hydrocarbon pollution.
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One of the major differences is the use of bacteria to produce the
In article 1, the production of biosurfactant involves the use of
Lactobacillus delbrueckii while the bacteria use in article 2 was
Corynebacterium kutscheri.
The other differences between the two articles is the use of waste motor
lubricant oil as one of the carbon source to test the production of the
biosurfactant in article 2.
The use of Corynebacterium kutscheri with peanut oil cake as a carbon
source seems to be more effective in producing the biosurfactant as
compare to the Lactobacillus delbrueckii when the same carbon source
(peanut oil cake) is being supply.
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Personal Opinion
The removal of the hydrocarbon pollution in the vast area of the
oceans with the application of biosurfactants seems to be a
promising solution.
This is further enhance by the production of biosurfactant using
microbes with the supply of cheaper carbon source – peanut oil
I personally feel that this is very interesting where scientists use
different approaches/alternatives in researching a cheaper carbon
source to feed the microbes in order to allow the microbes to grow
rapidly and at the same time to produce biosurfactants.
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Bharali. P., Das. S., Konwar. B.K and Thakur. A.J. (2012). Crude biosurfactant from
thermophilic Alcaligenes faecalis: Feasibility in petro-spill bioremediation. International
Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 65, 682-690.
Cameotra. S.S and Makkar. R.S. (2010). Biosurfactant-enhanced bioremediation of
hydrophobic pollutants. Pure Application Chemistry 82, 97-116.
Emily and Voigt. (2011). Invasion of the Oil-Eating Microbes. Odyssey 20, 16-18.
Thavasi. R., Jayalakshmi. S. and Banat. I.M. (2011). Application of biosurfactant
produced from peanut oil cake by Lactobacillus delbrueckii in biodegradation of crude oil.
Biosecure Technology 102, 3366-3372.
Thavasi. R., Jayalakshmi. S., Balasubramanian. T. and Banat. I.M. (2007).
Biosurfactant production by Corynebacterium kutscheri from waste motor lubricant oil and
peanut oil cake. Letters in Applied Microbiology 45, 686-691.
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Youtube Movie
Physiological and biochemical characteristics of C.kutscheri:
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Article 2 Summary
Oil Slick, Alaska
Oil shimmers among rocks on
Alaska's North Slope, a region where
rich reserves of both wildlife and
hydrocarbons have led to pitched
battles between environmentalists
and petroleum interests. Oil spills
wreak havoc on coastal plants and
marine animals. But high-profile
incidents, such as the 1989 Exxon
Valdez accident in Alaska, tend to
focus public attention on the issue of
ocean pollution. Single-hulled oil
tankers were outlawed in the U.S.
after that devastating spill.
Obtained from:
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
A pool of saffron-colored oil
paints swirls along Alaska's
ExxonValdez oil spill in 1989.
Although it was not large
compared to other spills, the
Valdez oil spill was one of the
world's most ecologically
devastating disasters, spoiling
more than 1,200 miles (1,931
including three national parks,
three national wildlife refuges,
and one national forest.
Obtained from:
Fishermen Confront Oil Spill
Fishermen confront oil-slicked
waters in Eleanor Bay, Alaska,
days after tanker ExxonValdez
disgorged nearly 11 million
gallons (41,640 kiloliters) of oil
into Prince William Sound. The
1989 event is the worst oil spill
in U.S. history and hurt
including salmon, sea otters,
seals, and sea birds.
Obtained from:
Oil-Coated Crab, Lebanon
With the area's preponderance
commerce, the semi-enclosed
particularly susceptible to oil
animosities in the region
aggravate the problem. This
crab is negotiating an oilfouled beach polluted when
Israeli planes bombed a
power station in Beirut,
Lebanon, in 2006.
Obtained from:
All obtained from:
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Article 1 Summary
Cleaning Oil Spills by Biodegradation
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natural components. Benefits:
OTI’s products nor the
resulting substances from
OTI’s products are the first
products offered worldwide
based on true biological
Obtained from:

07 Biosurfactant production Li Zhe Wong