Benchmarking the Self-Assembly of Surfactin Biosurfactant at the Liquid–Air Interface to those of Synthetic Surfactants
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The adsorption of surfactin, a lipopeptide biosurfactant, at the liquid–air interface has been investigated in this work. The maximum adsorption density and the nature and the extent of lateral interaction between the adsorbed surfactin molecules at the interface were estimated from surface tension data using the Frumkin model. The quantitative information obtained using the Frumkin model was also compared to those obtained using the Gibbs equation and the Langmuir–Szyszkowski model. Error analysis showed a better agreement between the experimental and the calculated values using the Frumkin model relative to the other two models. The adsorption of surfactin at the liquid–air interface was also compared to those of synthetic anionic, sodium dodecylbenzenesulphonate (SDBS), and nonionic, octaethylene glycol monotetradecyl ether (C14E8), surfactants. It has been estimated that the area occupied by a surfactin molecule at the interface is about 3- and 2.5-fold higher than those occupied by SDBS and C14E8 molecules, respectively. The interaction between the adsorbed molecules of the anionic biosurfactant (surfactin) was estimated to be attractive, unlike the mild repulsive interaction between the adsorbed SDBS molecules.
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