Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 41, Issue 11, pp 1599–1610 | Cite as

Use of bacterial biosurfactants as natural collectors in the dissolved air flotation process for the treatment of oily industrial effluent

  • Elias J. Silva
  • Darne G. Almeida
  • Juliana M. Luna
  • Raquel D. Rufino
  • Valdemir A. Santos
  • Leonie A. SarubboEmail author
Research Paper


The aim of the present study was to investigate the separation of oil from water using a bench-scale DAF prototype with the addition of biosurfactants isolated from Pseudomonas cepacia CCT6659 and Bacillus cereus UCP1615. The best operating conditions for the DAF prototype were determined using a central composite rotatable design. The results demonstrated that the biosurfactants from P. cepacia and B. cereus increased the oil separation efficiency from 53.74% (using only microbubbles) to 94.11 and 80.01%, respectively. The prediction models for both DAF-biosurfactant systems were validated, showing an increase in the efficiency of the DAF process from 53.74% to 98.55 and 70.87% using the formulated biosurfactants from P. cepacia and B. cereus, respectively. The biosurfactant from P. cepacia was selected as the more promising product and used for the treatment of oily effluent from a thermoelectric plant, achieving removal rates ranging between 75.74 (isolated biosurfactant) and 95.70% (formulated biosurfactant), respectively.


Biosurfactant Bacillus cereus Pseudomonas cepacia Dissolved air flotation Oily water CCRD 



This study was funded by the Foundation for the Support of Science and Technology of the State of Pernambuco (FACEPE), the Research and Development Program from National Agency of Electrical Energy (ANEEL), the Thermoelectric Company of Candeias (Global Group) code PD-06961-0005/2016, the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level Education Personnel (CAPES). The authors are grateful to the laboratories of the Centre for Sciences and Technology of the Catholic University of Pernambuco, Brazil.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This work is free from any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elias J. Silva
    • 1
  • Darne G. Almeida
    • 2
    • 3
  • Juliana M. Luna
    • 2
    • 3
  • Raquel D. Rufino
    • 2
    • 3
  • Valdemir A. Santos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Leonie A. Sarubbo
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Northeast Biotechnology Network (RENORBIO)Federal Rural University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Catholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP)RecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Advanced Institute of Technology and Innovation (IATI)RecifeBrazil

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