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Biotechnol Lett. 2003 Jan;25(1):73-7.

Enhancement of phase separation by the addition of de-emulsifiers to three-phase (diesel oil/biocatalyst/aqueous phase) emulsion in diesel biodesulfurization.

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Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, 11-1 Daehyon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-750, Korea.


Ethanol, added as a de-emulsifier to separate oil and biocatalyst (or bacterial cells) from a three-phase (oil/biocatalyst/aqueous phase) emulsion, formed in diesel biodesulfurization employing Gordonia nitida, improved oil recovery by centrifugation from about 50% in its absence to almost 100% at 3% (v/v). The biocatalyst recovered with ethanol addition showed similar specific growth rates (0.03 h(-1)) and dibenzothiophene desulfurization rates (6-7.2 mol l(-1) h(-1)) to those (0.03 h(-1) and 7.1 mol l(-1), respectively) of the biocatalyst recovered with no ethanol addition. The desulfurization activity significantly increased as the number of the repeated recovery and reuse of the biocatalyst.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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