Ex situ treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil using biosurfactants from Lactobacillus pentosus

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Sep 14;59(17):9443-7. doi: 10.1021/jf201807r. Epub 2011 Aug 9.


The utilization of biosurfactants for the bioremediation of contaminated soil is not yet well established, because of the high production cost of biosurfactants. Consequently, it is interesting to look for new biosurfactants that can be produced at a large scale, and it can be employed for the bioremediation of contaminated sites. In this work, biosurfactants from Lactobacillus pentosus growing in hemicellulosic sugars solutions, with a similar composition of sugars found in trimming vine shoot hydrolysates, were employed in the bioremediation of soil contaminated with octane. It was observed that the presence of biosurfactant from L. pentosus accelerated the biodegradation of octane in soil. After 15 days of treatment, biosurfactants from L. pentosus reduced the concentration of octane in the soil to 58.6 and 62.8%, for soil charged with 700 and 70,000 mg/kg of hydrocarbon, respectively, whereas after 30 days of treatment, 76% of octane in soil was biodegraded in both cases. In the absence of biosurfactant and after 15 days of incubation, only 1.2 and 24% of octane was biodegraded in soil charged with 700 and 70,000 mg/kg of octane, respectively. Thus, the use of biosurfactants from L. pentosus, as part of a well-designed bioremediation process, can provide mechanisms to mobilize the target contaminants from the soil surface to make them more available to the microbial population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Decontamination / methods
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Octanes / analysis
  • Octanes / chemistry*
  • Soil / chemistry
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis
  • Soil Pollutants / chemistry*
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry*
  • Surface-Active Agents / economics
  • Surface-Active Agents / metabolism*


  • Octanes
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • octane