Starmerella bombicola: recent advances on sophorolipid production and prospects of waste stream utilization

Huaimin Wang, Sophie L.K.W. Roelants, Ming H. To, Raffel D. Patria, Guneet KAUR, Ngai S. Lau, Chun Y. Lau, Inge N.A. Van Bogaert, Wim Soetaert, Carol S.K. Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Sophorolipids are among the most extensively studied microbial biosurfactants. Starmerella bombicola is the most productive strain known for sophorolipid production, with volumetric productivity of up to 3.7 g L −1 h −1 . This review focuses on the two most important aspects that have an influence on sophorolipid commercialization. Firstly, the metabolic engineering achievements of S. bombicola in the last decade are summarized. Secondly, three improvements of the bioprocess are described, including alternative feedstock, fermentation strategy and specially designed bioreactor. Discussion is made on the waste sources that have been used as feedstock for sophorolipid production, and the review also emphasizes the potential of food waste as nutrient source. Fermentation strategies that correlate with the specially designed bioreactors for commercialization are also discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1007
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • food waste
  • genetic modification
  • sophorolipids
  • special designed bioreactor
  • Starmerella bombicola


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