Expert Opinion on Environmental BiologyISSN: 2325-9655

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Nano-Liposomes of Crude Soy Lecithin are Effective for Cleaning Fuel-Contaminated Sands and Soils

Nano-Liposomes of Crude Soy Lecithin are Effective for Cleaning Fuel-Contaminated Sands and Soils

Large multilamellar lipid vesicles (MLV) and nano-liposomes (small unilamellar vesicles-SUV) made of crude soy lecithin were prepared, characterized and compared for their ability to remove crude oil and jet fuel contaminants from sand and soil samples. The SUV formulation was able to remove 85% of the contaminants, and was significantly the most effective formulation when compared to the other tested lipid products. Raising temperature (from RT to 50°C) and exposure to ultrasonic irradiation further improved SUV cleaning efficiency. The SUV used are highly stable in high salinity concentration (up to 32% W/V NaCl). The crude soy SUV reduces surface tension of the water, in agreement with previous results on highly significant reduction of oil/water interfacial tension (IFT). These properties make crude lecithin-based SUV a good candidate for the physical cleaning of oil-contaminated soil as well as for accelerating bioremediation of such soil. The use of liposomes composed of such crude lecithin has major advantages: the lecithin is available in quantity at a reasonable cost; fabrication of such SUV on a large scale is straightforward and, most important, such liposomes are biocompatible and environmentally friendly.

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