Biosbrfactants for in Situ Sludge Removal From Oil/water Separators

Period of Performance: 03/01/1995 - 08/30/1995


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Bioremediation Consulting, Inc.
Newton, MA 02159
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Biosurfactants are proposed as an innovative technological solution to the problem of sludge accumulation on ship-board oil/water separators. They are equal or superior to synthetic surfactants with respect to exhibiting minimuminterfacial tension values at significantly lower CMC values. Biosurfact- ants are also more readilyu biodegradable and exhibit less toxicity then do the majority of synthetic surfactants. The team of Bioremediation Consulting Inc (BCI) and Finnerty Enterprises Inc (FEI) will screen biosurfactants from a unique in-house collecion of approximately 100 microbial strains for their effectiveness in mobilizing sludge from bench scale laboratory test surfaces. Biosurfactants obtained from com- mercially available sources will be compared to those in FEI's collection. Several biosurfactants will be chemically identified and characterized for the property of lowering interfacial tension and increasing sludge mobilization under a range of salt concentrations and temperatures.