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Effect of biosurfactants on the aqueous solubility of PCE and TCE.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of environmental science and health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances & environmental engineering
Publication Date
Volume
44
Issue
14
Pages
1565–1573
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/10934520903263538
PMID: 20183515
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The effect of biosurfactants on the solubility of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) was studied in batch experiments pertaining to their use for solubilization and mobilization of such contaminants in surfactant enhanced aquifer remediation. Biosurfactants, rhamnolipid and surfactin used in solubility studies were synthesized in our laboratory by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MTCC 2297) and Bacillus subtilis (MTCC 2423), respectively. The efficiency of the biosurfactants in solubilizing the chlorinated solvents was compared to that of synthetic surfactants. The Weight Solubilization Ratio (WSR) values for solubilization of PCE and TCE by biosurfactants were very high compared to the values obtained for synthetic surfactants. Surfactin proved to be a better surfactant over rhamnolipid. The WSR of surfactin on solubilization of PCE and TCE were 3.83 and 12.5, respectively, whereas the values obtained for rhamnolipid were 2.06 and 8.36. The solubility of the chlorinated solvents by biosurfactants was considerably affected by the changes in pH. The aqueous solubility of PCE and TCE increased tremendously with decrease in pH. The solubility of biosurfactants was observed to decrease with the pH, favoring partitioning of surfactants into the chlorinated solvents in significant amounts at lower pH. The excessive accumulation of biosurfactants at the interface facilitated interfacial tension reductions resulting in higher solubility of the chlorinated solvents at pH less than 7.

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