Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering 2005. 2(1):6-12.

Isolation of Biosurfactant Producing Bacteria from Oil Reservoirs
A Tabatabaee, M Mazaheri Assadi, AA Noohi, VA Sajadian


Biosurfactants or surface-active compounds are produced by microoaganisms. These molecules reduce surface tension both aqueous solutions and hydrocarbon mixtures. In this study, isolation and identification of biosurfactant producing bacteria were assessed. The potential application of these bacteria in petroleum industry was investigated. Samples (crude oil) were collected from oil wells and 45 strains were isolated. To confirm the ability of isolates in biosurfactant production, haemolysis test, emulsification test and measurement of surface tension were conducted. We also evaluated the effect of different pH, salinity concentrations, and temperatures on biosurfactant production. Among importance features of the isolated strains, one of the strains (NO.4: Bacillus.sp) showed high salt tolerance and their successful production of biosurfactant in a vast pH and temperature domain and reduced surface tension to value below 40 mN/m. This strain is potential candidate for microbial enhanced oil recovery. The strain4 biosurfactant component was mainly glycolipid in nature.


Biosurfactant producing bacteria, Emulsification, Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR), Glycolipid,

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