Determination of the acid dissociation constant of the biosurfactant monorhamnolipid in aqueous solution by potentiometric and spectroscopic methods

Ariel Lebrón-Paler, Jeanne E Pemberton, Bridget A. Becker, William H. Otto, Cynthia K. Larive, Raina Margaret Maier

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The acid dissociation constant in water for a monorhamnolipid mixture extracted from Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 has been determined using potentiometry and two spectroscopic approaches at concentrations below and above the critical micelle concentration (cmc). Potentiometric titrations resulted in pKa values ranging from 4.28 ± 0.16 to 5.50 ± 0.06 depending on concentration. 1H NMR spectrochemical titrations at concentrations below the cmc revealed a pKa value of 4.39 ± 0.06. ATR-FT-IR spectrochemical titrations on solutions well above the cmc gave a pKa value of 4.84 ± 0.05. The value of 4.28 for the free rhamnolipid molecule for concentrations below the cmc differs markedly from that reported previously. However, the pKa of 5.50 for surface-adsorbed and solution aggregates correlates closely to that previously reported. Differences in these pKa values are rationalized in terms of the pH- and concentration-dependent aggregation behavior of rhamnolipids in aqueous solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7649-7658
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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