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Trends Biotechnol. 1992 Jun;10(6):208-17.

Biosurfactants: moving towards industrial application.

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Institut für Biotechnologie, ETH-Hõnggerberg, Zürich, Switzerland.


Chemically synthesized surface-active compounds are widely used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, petroleum and food industries. However, with the advantages of biodegradability, and production on renewable-resource substrates, biosurfactants may eventually replace their chemically synthesized counterparts. So far, the use of biosurfactants has been limited to a few specialized applications because biosurfactants have been economically uncompetitive. There is a need to gain a greater understanding of the physiology, genetics and biochemistry of biosurfactant-producing strains, and to improve process technology to reduce production costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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