Molecular dynamics simulation of biosurfactant adsorption at air-water and oil-water interfaces

Biosurfactants are surface active molecules derived from microbial fermentation and include rhamnolipids, sophorolipids, trehalolipids and lipopeptides to name a few. There is considerable interest in their use as replacers of synthetic surfactants used in industry. This is because their manufacture is sustainable (the bacteria can be grown on renewable or waste feedstock), they are less toxic and more environmentally friendly.
In this project the mechanisms of adsorption of various biosurfactants to air- and oil-water interfaces will be studied using molecular dynamics simulation. The effect of structural variations in the surfactant (number and type of sugar head group, chain length and degree of un-saturation of acyl chains) on the adsorption mechanism will be studied. This information will assist in the selection and design of new biosurfactants for industrial applications.

Supervisor name: 
Stephen Euston
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses:
Deputy name: 
Karina Salek