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Indian J Microbiol. 2008 Mar;48(1):142-6. doi: 10.1007/s12088-008-0014-5. Epub 2008 May 1.

Bioremediation of multi-metal contaminated soil using biosurfactant - a novel approach.

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  • 1National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nehru Marg, Nagpur, 440020 India.


An unconventional nutrient medium, distillery spent wash (1:3) diluted) was used to produce di-rhamnolipid biosurfactant by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain BS2. This research further assessed the potential of the biosurfactant as a washing agent for metal removal from multimetal contaminated soil (Cr-940 ppm; Pb-900 ppm; Cd-430 ppm; Ni-880 ppm; Cu-480 ppm). Out of the treatments of contaminated soil with tap water and rhamnolipid biosurfactant, the latter was found to be potent in mobilization of metal and decontamination of contaminated soil. Within 36 hours of leaching study, di-rhamnolipid as compared to tap water facilitated 13 folds higher removal of Cr from the heavy metal spiked soil whereas removal of Pb and Cu was 9-10 and 14 folds higher respectively. Leaching of Cd and Ni was 25 folds higher from the spiked soil. This shows that leaching behavior of biosurfactant was different for different metals. The use of wastewater for production of biosurfactant and its efficient use in metal removal make it a strong applicant for bioremediation.


Column studies; Distillary waste; Metals; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Rhamnolipid Biosurfactant

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