Interest on bio surfactants on the rise: scientist

Updated - January 29, 2015 05:46 am IST

Published - January 29, 2015 12:00 am IST - Tiruvannamalai:

Environmental hazards of synthetic surfactants (Chemical agents that reduce surface tension that are used in detergents, cosmetics etc) cause increased interest on bio surfactants, said Ashok Pandey, scientist from National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, CSIR.

Presenting a paper on microbial surfactant at the second international conference on Bio energy, Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) that began at Arunai Engineering College here on Wednesday he said “Currently the market demand for surfactants is high. The world wide surfactant production exceeds 15 million tonnes per annum. Many of these compounds are toxic to the environment and not readily bio degradable. Their by products can be environmentally hazardous.

Increased environmental awareness, stringent regulations and high raw material prices have resulted in increased interest in bio-based surfactants as alternative. They have gained considerable attention recently due to low toxicity, biodegradability and performance under extreme conditions ,” he said.

“Because of their detergent like property they can replace synthetic surfactants in cosmetics, soaps and detergent, making the production process with less carbon footprint,” he added.

In Seop Chang, from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea; Jin Suk Lee, Korean Institute of Energy Research; R.Praveen Kumar, Organising Chairman; S.Ragupathi, Head, Chemical Engineering Department of Arunai Engineering College were among the participants during the inaugural session.

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