Bioresource Technology, Vol.124, 227-232, 2012
Effect of microbial treatment on the prevention and removal of paraffin deposits on stainless steel surfaces
In this study, biosurfactant-producing strain N2 and non-biosurfactant producing stain KB18 were used to investigate the effects of microbial treatment on the prevention and removal of paraffin deposits on stainless steel surfaces. Strain N2, with a biosurfactant production capacity, reduced the contact angle of stainless steel to 40.04 degrees, and the corresponding adhesion work of aqueous phase was decreased by 26.5 mJ/m(2). By contrast, KB18 could only reduce the contact angle to 50.83 degrees, with a corresponding 7.6 mJ/m(2) decrease in the aqueous phase work adhesion. The paraffin removal test showed that the paraffin removal efficiencies of strain N2 and KB18 were 79.0% and 61.2%, respectively. Interestingly, the N2 cells could attach on the surface of the oil droplets to inhibit droplets coalescence. These results indicate that biosurfactant-producing strains can alter the wettability of stainless steel and thus eliminate paraffin deposition. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.