• Muhamad Hissammuddin Shah Zainal Abidin Chemical Reaction Engineering Group (CREG), Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Nor Dina Sakaria Politeknik Tun Syed Nasir Syed Ismail (PTSN), Pagoh Educational Hub, Pagoh, 84600 Johor, Malaysia
  • Nur Raudhah Azman Innovation Center in Agritechnology for Advanced Bioprocessing (ICA), UTM Pagoh Campus, Pagoh Educational Hub, Pagoh, 84600 Johor, Malaysia
  • Umi Aisah Asli Chemical Reaction Engineering Group (CREG), Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia



Stability properties, characterization, critical micelle concentration, rhamnolipid biosurfactant, oil degradation


Rhamnolipid biosurfactants are among the most investigated for various applications, owing not only to their much lower environmental impact compared to chemical surfactants but also because they have proven effective in reducing surface tension and critical micelle concentration (CMC). However, there is concern regarding their high cost. This work aims to determine important behavior and properties of rhamnolipids and verify their potential for oil degradation. They were characterized using FTIR, 1H NMR, and 13C NMR spectroscopy to determine the main functional groups and the chemical structure of rhamnolipids for oil degreasing. Then, the influence of thermodynamic properties on CMC stability was studied to establish the stability behavior. This investigation is essential as good oil degreasing products require low CMC values to minimize the amount used during the oil removal process, form micelles, and solubilize dirt and oil. The oil degradation ability of rhamnolipids in different concentrations was studied using an oil dispersion test and the method of oil removal from a glass surface. Overall, this investigation proves that the temperature of the solution and immersion time influenced the CMC and surface tension value for the rhamnolipids. The lowest CMC value was 35 mg/L at 55 °C after 48 h of stabilization. The minimum recommended amount of rhamnolipids for the oil degrease formulation was also found to be 0.1% w/v, which is very low. This study showed that the behavior and stability of rhamnolipids are suitable for oil degradation applications and can efficiently replace chemical surfactants in oil degradation products.


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