Biolubricant potential of exopolysaccharides from the cyanobacterium Cyanothece epiphytica
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Exopolysaccaharides (EPS) are carbohydrate polymers secreted by microbial cells, as a protective layer termed sheath or capsule. Their composition is variable. Optimisation of nutrient factors and the effect of some simple stresses on the ability of Cyanothece epiphytica to produce EPS were tested. Of the tested stresses, exposure to ozone for 50 s at 0.06 mg/L resulted in a relatively high EPS yield, without any damage to cell structure. EPS was characterised physicochemically. Chemically, it was found to be composed of pentoses arabinose and xylose; hexoses glucose, galactose and mannose; and the deoxyhexose fucose sugars which were sulphated and with different functional groups. EPS from C. epiphytica was found to be a good hydrophobic dispersant, an excellent emulsifier as well as a flocculant. Its potential as a biolubricant with characteristics better than the conventional lubricant ‘grease’ was revealed through analysis. This study gave the clue for developing a commercial technology to produce a less expensive and more environment-friendly natural lubricant from the cyanobacterium C. epiphytica for tribological applications.
KeywordsCyanobacteria Extracellular polysaccharide Optimisation Stress Ozone (O3) Biolubricant
The authors acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology-Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (DST-PURSE) program ([SR/FT/LS-113/2009), Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), Bangalore, India, and the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSIR), Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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