RhamCOLIpid: Engineered E. coli producing rhamnolipid for green enhanced oil recovery

Surfactant is a compound that lowers surface tension between two liquids (e.g. oil-water) or liquid-solid. One example of naturally occurring surfactant is rhamnolipid. Rhamnolipid has a broad application, starting from enhanced oil recovery, oil spill and pollutant management, to industries such as food, cosmetic, and health care. But unfortunately this biosurfactant is produced by opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thus, ITB_Indonesia utilises optimised rhlAB gene from Pseudomonas aeruginosa for rhamnolipid production, combined by LacI control and reporter protein for controllable and observable production in E. coli. This rhamnolipid-producing E. coli is named RhamCOLIpid. Produced rhamnolipid is further tested for one of its usages, Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). EOR using rhamnolipid is expected to serve as a green alternative to increase oil production in Indonesia.


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