Biosurfactants are produced by microorganisms and have emulsifying and surfactant characteristics, which can be applied in several areas ranging from petroleum industries to personal hygiene products. The biosurfactants have high biodegradability and can be synthesized from substrates originated from residual agroindustrial biomass. Brazil stands out in the agricultural-industrial sector and many wastes are generated. The valorization of these biomasses through re-use for commercial purposes can be an attraction for companies and consequently for the environment. Thus, the main objective of the project is to evaluate the production of biosurfactants by Rhodotorula mucilaginosa using brewery residues (malt bagasse) as substrate. The malt bagasse will be chemically characterized and subjected to different pre-treatments so that the sugars are bioavailable to the yeast. Once the biosurfactant production capacity is confirmed, emulsion, ionic charge, stability and drop collapse tests will be performed. The biosurfactant will be extracted and analyzed by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) for partial chemical characterization and evaluated for antimicrobial activity. Finally, the present project could help in the valorization of biomass using it in the production of biosurfactants from yeasts.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: