Biosurfactant Production in the Context of Biorefineries

Paulo Ricardo Franco Marcelino*, Carlos Augusto Ramos, Maria Teresa Ramos, Renan Murbach Pereira, Rafael Rodrigues Philippini, Emilyn Matsumura, Silvio Silvério da Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Biosurfactants are metabolites produced by animals, plants and microorganisms that have an amphipathic structure and can act as surfactants or emulsifiers. These molecules also have varied biological properties, with antimicrobial, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, larvicidal effects, among others. In addition, they are products with physicochemical properties similar to or better than synthetic surfactants and ecofriendly characteristics, such as high biodegradability, low toxicity and biocompatibility. In recent years, microbial biosurfactants highlighted in several studies and also in industry, due to their physicochemical and biological characteristics, being applied mainly in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, environmental and agricultural products. Despite being applied industrially, the biosurfactant production on a large scale still presents some problems, mainly related to raw materials, which increases the costs of the final product. Because of this, production in the context of biorefineries is a sustainable and promising alternative for biosurfactants. Biorefineries are industrial installations that combine biotechnological, physical and chemical processes to obtain products of economic interest from renewable raw materials, such as biomass and agro-industrial residues. The production of biosurfactants in biorefineries has significant advantages over conventional approaches, such as greater efficiency, lower environmental impact and economic viability. Based on these aspects, this chapter will briefly present topics of fundamental importance for the production of biosurfactants in the context of biorefineries. The main by-products that can be used as raw materials in biorefineries aiming at the production of biosurfactants, the most used microorganisms and the particularities of the production of biosurfactants in lignocellulosic, oleaginous, biodiesel and starchy biorefineries will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiosurfactants and Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Biorefineries Production to Versatile Applications
EditorsP.R.F. Marcelino, S.S. da Silva, A.O. Lopez
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781119854395
ISBN (Print)9781119854364
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2023


  • Biomasses
  • Biorefineries
  • Biosurfactants
  • Hydrolysates
  • Pretreatment


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