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Production of rhamnolipids with different proportions of mono-rhamnolipids using crude glycerol and a comparison of their application potential for oil recovery from oily sludge

Zhao, Feng, Jiang, Hao, Sun, Huichun, Liu, Chang, Han, Siqin, Zhang, Ying
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.6 pp. 2885-2891
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas stutzeri, bioactive properties, biosurfactants, cleaning agents, emulsifying properties, glycerol, oils, pH, rhamnolipids, sludge, sodium chloride, temperature
The use of efficient green cleaning agents, such as biosurfactants, is important in oil sludge treatment. Enhanced oil recovery from oily sludge by different rhamnolipids was comparatively evaluated. Using crude glycerol, the wild-type strain Pseudomonas aeruginosa SG and the recombinant strains P. aeruginosa PrhlAB and P. stutzeri Rhl produced 1.98 g L⁻¹, 2.87 g L⁻¹ and 0.87 g L⁻¹ of rhamnolipids, respectively. The three bacterial strains produced different rhamnolipid mixtures under the same conditions. The proportions of mono-rhamnolipids in the three rhamnolipid products were 55.92%, 94.92% and 100%, respectively. These rhamnolipid products also possessed different bioactivities. Emulsifying activity became higher as the proportion of mono-rhamnolipids increased. The three rhamnolipid products were stable at temperatures lower than 121 °C, pH values from 5–11 and NaCl concentrations from 0–15%. All three rhamnolipid products could recover oil from oily sludge, but oil recovery efficiency was positively related to the proportion of mono-rhamnolipids. Mono-rhamnolipids produced by the recombinant strain Rhl exhibited the best oil recovery efficiency (53.81%). The results reveal that mono-rhamnolipids are the most promising for oil recovery from oily sludge.