Research in biotechnology and environmental science

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Biosurfactant-producing Microorganisms: Potential for Bioremediation of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants

Mohammadhassan Tadayon Tajabadi1, Asyeih Sabernejad2, and Mohsen Khalili Najafabadi3,*

1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran, 2Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3Faculty ofMechanical Engineering, University of Miskolc, Miskolc,Hungary


The contamination of soil and water by heavy metals and hydrophobic organic compounds poses a significant threat to the environment. Traditional physicochemical methods for remediation are often expensive and environmentally unfriendly, while bioremediation offers a more eco-compatible and economically feasible alternative. Bioremediation utilizes microorganisms, plants, or microbial/plant enzymes to detoxify contaminants in various environments. Biosurfactants, amphiphilic compounds produced by microorganisms, play a crucial role in enhancing bioremediation effectiveness. They increase substrate surface area, create microenvironments, and promote emulsification, thereby facilitating the removal of pollutants. This article provideda comprehensive overview of biosurfactant-producing microorganisms and their potential in the bioremediation of organic and inorganic pollutants. The types and classifications of biosurfactants as well asthe factors influencing their productionwere discussed. Various microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and yeasts, wereidentified as biosurfactant producers. This study outlinedthe production process and highlightedthe importance of optimizing growth conditions for high-quality biosurfactant production. The applications of biosurfactants in remediation wereexploredbyemphasizing their ability to enhance biodegradation, remove heavy metals, and increase hydrocarbonbioavailability. Several studies demonstrating the efficacy of biosurfactant-producing microorganisms in bioremediation werepresented. The potential limitations and challenges associated with biosurfactant application in situ were alsodiscussed. Inconclusion, the controlled use of biosurfactants could offerpromising prospects for the efficient and sustainable cleanup of contaminated sites, contributing to environmental remediation efforts.

1. Introduction:

Heavy metals, such as Lead (Pb), Zinc (Zn), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), and Nickel (Ni),as well ashydrophobic organic compounds cause soil and water contaminations, leading intoa serious environmental problem1,2.Several different physicochemical and biological processes are employed to remove heavy metals and organic compounds from environment3,4.Physicochemical methods are not cost-effective, and some of them arenot environmentally friendly, whilebioremediation processes are an eco-compatible and economically feasibleoption2,3.Bioremediation is the process of using microorganisms, plants, or microbial or plant enzymes to detoxify contaminants in the soil, water, air, flue gases, industrial effluents, and other environments5. The natural ability of organisms to adsorb, accumulate, and degrade common and emerging pollutants has attracted the use of biological resources in treatment of contaminated environment3. Bioremediation can be done in situat the site of the contamination or ex situaway from the site5

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