A critical review on various feedstocks as sustainable substrates for biosurfactants production: a way towards cleaner production

Swayansu Sabyasachi Mohanty, Yamini Koul, Sunita Varjani*, Ashok Pandey, Huu Hao Ngo, Jo Shu Chang, Jonathan W.C. Wong, Xuan Thanh Bui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


The quest for a chemical surfactant substitute has been fuelled by increased environmental awareness. The benefits that biosurfactants present like biodegradability, and biocompatibility over their chemical and synthetic counterparts has contributed immensely to their popularity and use in various industries such as petrochemicals, mining, metallurgy, agrochemicals, fertilizers, beverages, cosmetics, etc. With the growing demand for biosurfactants, researchers are looking for low-cost waste materials to use them as substrates, which will lower the manufacturing costs while providing waste management services as an add-on benefit. The use of low-cost substrates will significantly reduce the cost of producing biosurfactants. This paper discusses the use of various feedstocks in the production of biosurfactants, which not only reduces the cost of waste treatment but also provides an opportunity to profit from the sale of the biosurfactant. Furthermore, it includes state-of-the-art information about employing municipal solid waste as a sustainable feedstock for biosurfactant production, which has not been simultaneously covered in many published literatures on biosurfactant production from different feedstocks. It also addresses the myriad of other issues associated with the processing of biosurfactants, as well as the methods used to address these issues and perspectives, which will move society towards cleaner production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Agro-industrial waste
  • Biosurfactant
  • Cleaner production
  • Municipal solid waste


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