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What is a “DPF?”

DPF stands for Diesel Particulate Filter. A DPF is a specifically designed filtration device/system whose internal matrix is composed of a porous honeycomb-like structure. A DPF’s multiple tasks include:

(1) capturing and trapping the Particulate Matters (PM) of engine exhaust produced by diesel-powered engines;

(2) preventing these harmful and toxic particles from directly discharging into the atmosphere without prior filtration;

(3) temporarily storing soot, such as incompletely combusted and unburned hydrocarbons and non-volatile organic matter;

(4) collecting and storing ash, such as burnt-off soot and incombustible metal elements, during DPF self-regeneration;

(5) sensoring its own working condition, then conveying it to the diesel engine for initiating self-regeneration, and  issuing an indicator light warning to the driver’s dashboard  requesting  maintenance and cleaning service;

(6) affecting positively or negatively a diesel engine’s performance and diesel fuel economy.

Therefore, a DPF plays a vital role in both air pollution control and global warming reduction, as well as in diesel engine performance

What does “DPF cleaning service” mean?

A DPF must be periodically cleaned at certain mileages and/or service schedule times, because a DPF has limited space and capacity for housing soot and ash. When these reach the maximum volume a DPF can handle, the DPF must be serviced off site by a qualified DPF cleaning shop/person/technician. Cleaning a diesel particulate filter by showering, bathing, flushing, and flooding is a combined thermal-, mechanical-, and chemical-dynamic process. During a DPF’s cleaning service, the DPF will be inspected, diagnosed, cleaned and emptied, removing as much of the inside exogenous residues as possible in order to restore the DPF to its original integrity, proper function and efficiency. The chemical compositions inside of a pre-cleaned DPF are quite complicated. These may be found as ash, soot, particulate matter, organic matter, unburned hydrocarbons, incompletely burned hydrocarbons, metallic and nonmetallic oxides, lube oil contaminants, coolant contaminants, engine wear particles, substrate/catalyst/coating materials and their worn-off or shed materials, basic, acidic and neutral chemicals, metal elements, trace fuel impurities, etc.

The environment inside of a dirty DPF is a complicated mixture of numerous unknown or uncharacterized potential chemical interactions/reactions and an array of varying sizes of particulate matter. Stripping off these foreign chemical substances and particulate matters from the substrate surfaces inside the porous honeycomb-like structures of a DPF using a chemical cleaning solution requires that the chemical ingredients added into the solution synergistically, favorably and effectively interact in such a way with them as to lower surface tensions and interfacial tensions. This helps facilitate their displacement and releases them from their dynamically evolving locations in the DPF.

Currently, there are no standardized commercial chemicals or aqueous cleaning solutions available for DPF cleaning; and there is a large variation in DPF cleaning services throughout the industry. This puts the regulatory enforcement agencies, DPF cleaning services and DPF end users all in a very difficult situation.  AGAE’s natural solution formulas for cleaning DPF produce consistent and reliable cleaning outcomes that can fill the market need for highly efficient, economical, easily standardized and environmentally safe DPF cleaning solutions and procedures.

Not to be confused are DPF self-regeneration and DPF cleaning services. These are two completely different processes, with differing purposes and outcomes. The former process is performed in situ and on site to burn off accumulated soot—with the resulting ashes still remaining in the DPF.  The latter process is often performed ex-situ and off site to remove the ash, and clean out all foreign residues, and empty the DPF, thereby restoring it as closely as possible to its original manufacturer specifications.

How are rhamnolipids connected with DPF cleaning?

One of the key ingredients in AGAE’s DPF cleaning formulas is rhamnolipid biosurfactant. Rhamnolipids have been studied worldwide for over 65 years with more than one thousand publications publicly available. Rhamnolipids are the best known and characterized surfactant of microbial origin. Numerous laboratory studies show that rhamnolipids have great potential for a wide variety of applications in industries such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, agriculture and environmental remediation. Because of rhamnolipids’ excellent surfactant activity, complete biodegradability and environmental and human friendliness, development of innovative technologies allowing daily economical and efficacious large-scale utilization of rhamnolipids has been long sought after by both academics and industrial formulators.

AGAE’s breakthrough discovery of rhamnolipid-based DPF cleaning formulas opens up an entirely new application area for rhamnolipids and for other natural ingredients included in its DPF cleaning formulas; and represents the latest advancement in development of highly efficient, economical and industrial-scale application of rhamnolipids. AGAE is very excited to have worked out these innovative cleaning solutions formulated with rhamnolipids and other naturally occurring ingredients for DPF cleaning, while simultaneously benefiting air pollution control and global warming reduction, as well as improving diesel engine performance. There is serious lack of efficacious and economic rhamnolipid-containing formulas for industrial-scale applications. AGAE is proud of its pioneering work towards large-scale application of rhamnolipids in cleaning diesel particulate filters.




PHARMACEUTICAL AND COSMECEUTICAL INDUSTRIES—excipient, adjuvant, bioactive properties

Human-friendly, green and sustainably produced high purity RHAMNOLIPID biosurfactants are an excellent choice for use in drug formulation and drug delivery.  RHAMNOLIPIDS have been demonstrated to have novel anti-superbug synergistic activities as an excipient with clinical antibiotics.  Their excipient and adjuvant possibilities include:  solubilizer, emulsifier, and efficacy enhancer.  And their bioactive functionalities include: inhibition of bacterial growth, cytotoxic effects, immune response stimulation, antiviral effects, anti-adhesion effects on prostheses against pathogenic organisms, cell membrane permeation for recovery of intracellular products, cell lysis, surface motility effects, and bio-film regulation and inhibition.

AGAE has a pending patent application for RHAMNOLIPID-containing formulae related to treatment, decontamination and prevention of superbug infections.  With RHAMNOLIPIDS serving as an excipient, anti-superbug drugs can be formulated which will be more effective and more economical.  In addition, a series of RHAMNOLIPID-containing anti-superbug products based on our patent will also be possible, including: anti-superbug detergents, disinfectant bandages, wipes, and hand sanitizers.


COSMETICS AND PERSONAL CARE—surfactant, emulsifier properties

The biological activity of RHAMNOLIPIDS supports their effective application and role in cosmetics where they have been studied and used as additives for many years.  RHAMNOLIPIDS provide excellent detergency and wetting, and have outstanding foaming properties.  They provide stable emulsion and micro-emulsion formation, and are highly soluble.  Their surfactant and emulsion specifications include reducing the surface tension of water to 25 mN/m, a Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) of 5-380 mg/L, and decreasing the interfacial tension (IFT) of oil and water from 10-2 mN/m to 10-5 mN/m.  RHAMNOLIPIDS are mild towards the skin and can promote skin growth and healing.  They may be used as effective cleaners, emulsifiers and foaming agents in most personal care products, including: moisturizers, body lotions, facial creams, denture cleaners, toothpaste, contact lens solution, antiperspirants, deodorants, nail care products, shaving creams, hair removal products, lubricated condoms, baby products, foot care products, antiseptics, and anti-acne washes/pads.  In addition, they can be used in bath and hair care products such as: liquid soaps, bar soaps, body washes, facial cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, hair coloring and dandruff control products. They can also be used as additives in cosmetic products such as:  makeup, lipstick and eye-shadow products.  They are all-natural, sustainably produced, biodegradable, have low or no toxicity, and will support the development of Ecocert and other green products.



RHAMNOLIPIDS are tailor-made for in situ and ex situ remediation.  They are a natural product of the bacteria P. aeruginosa which is commonly found in contaminated soil producing RHAMNOLIPIDS to help them feed off of hydrocarbon contaminates.  RHAMNOLIPIDS are environmentally friendly and have a unique ability to emulsify hydrocarbon-mixtures and enhance the breakup of hydrocarbons in soil and water.  When used in low concentration with other surfactants in target remediation formulations, RHAMNOLIPIDS can both help improve the performance of the other surfactants as well as enable users to scale down on the total amount of surfactants they use, thus saving costs without compromising performance.  RHAMNOLIPIDS also have the added benefit of remaining effective in extreme salinity, pH and temperature conditions where other surfactants and technologies often fail.  In oil spill situations or other environmentally harmful accidents, RHAMNOLIPID biosurfactants are highly effective in helping remove exceptionally toxic and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs, as well as heavy metals and pesticide pollutants.  They can also be used as flushing agents in remediation of refined petroleum products, acid mine drainage, food processing waste and toxic insecticide/pesticide pollution, as well as inhibiting the growth of harmful algae in bodies of water.

remediation pic1

PETROLEUM INDUSTRY—emulsification and de-emulsification

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)

In enhanced oil recovery (EOR), RHAMNOLIPIDS can be used effectively in formulation with chemical surfactants for dramatically decreasing the interfacial tension (IFT) between injection/produced/formation water and crude oil, and for favorable alteration of the wettability of rock, sand and brine.

Rhamnolipids can help: 1) enhance solubility, permeability, and fluidity of crude oil in water; 2) reduce the effect of salinity; 3) decrease the surface tension and interfacial tension between the phase of an aqueous surfactant solution consisting of injection/formation/produced water and the phase of crude oil; and 4) emulsify immiscible crude oil in water.

Capillary forces between crude oil or residual oil and water determine the pressures needed to displace the crude oil from rock and sand pores.  Ultralow IFTs obtained specifically through the use of RHAMNOLIPID-included surfactant formulae allow the oil trapped in porous rock and pore/core structures by capillary forces to be released and become a mobilized and recoverable liquid.

Lowering IFT through the use of surfactants decreases the pressures required to force a non-wetting phase (crude oil) through throats of small capillaries and pore/core constrictions.  Surfactants make the diameter of oil molecules and oil drops decrease to sizes smaller than gate diameters.  A RHAMNOLIPID biosurfactant additive applied together with traditional surfactants in all of the above-mentioned roles can greatly help in further reducing IFTs and enhancing a larger release of otherwise hard-to-get oil from rock, sand, pore/core structures, and significantly increase tertiary oil recovery yields in mature/stripper wells.  Environmentally friendly RHAMNOLIPIDS, used in very low concentration levels in combination with suitable/selected chemical surfactants, have been clearly demonstrated to achieve ultralow interfacial tensions in the range of 10-3 to 10-5 which is highly desirable for conducting higher yielding and more cost-effective EOR.

(To help you conduct a successful EOR project we have provided you with some important facts for consideration–please click on the following thumbnail):

Factors Effecting EOR Results


Oil Tank Cleaning

For tank cleaning, cleanup based on RHAMNOLIPID biosurfactants successfully removes oily sludge from tank bottoms, and recovers more than 90% of the hydrocarbon trapped in the sludge.  At the same time RHAMNOLIPIDS help avoid harmful environmental impact and dramatically reduce waste volume at the end of the cleaning process.

Oil Field Tanks 1Pre-cleaned Oil Tanks 1Oil Tank Cleaning Trial 1
































Oil Pipeline Flow Efficiency

In oil pipelines, RHAMNOLIPIDS help facilitate smoother, more efficient and more economical crude oil flow over long distances by reducing the viscosity of heavy oil and increasing its mobility.  They also aid in minimizing pipeline sludge build-up.


HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS—wetting, foaming and dispersing agents

Eco-friendly RHAMNOLIPIDS are used in green and effective household cleaning products, including: heavy duty detergents, light duty liquid cleaners, prewash products, car wash detergents, dishwashing soaps, bleaches, fine fabric detergents, hard surface cleaners, and hypo-allogenic cleaners.


FOOD AND BEVERAGE PROCESSING—stable emulsions, low toxicity

Due to their low acute mammalian toxicity and non-mutagenicity, RHAMNOLIPIDS are very suitable for use in protection of agricultural food products (fruits, vegetables, and other crops).  They are used in other food applications such as food additives and food coloring; and they improve the texture and creaminess of dairy products, including ice cream, because of their stable emulsions.  They improve dough characteristics in baking and stabilize fats during cooking.  Rhamnose, the precursor for high-quality food flavor components, is a hydrolyzed product of RHAMNOLIPIDS.


AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE—anti-fungal properties, insecticidal activity, antimicrobial, immunity stimulant

RHAMNOLIPIDS are an environmentally safe and highly effective alternative in agricultural pest and disease control.  They can be used for the protection of many crops (fruits, vegetables) as well as ornamental plants; this has been shown in grapevine protection, damping-off disease protection as an anti-fungal agent, as a biologic control agent, and in the composting of green waste for fertilizer.  In addition, RHAMNOLIPIDS have been used to stimulate immunity in plants and animals, and for cleaning ultrafiltration membranes in the dairy industry.

Agriculture pic2


THERAPEUTICS—wound healing, ulcer treatment

An ointment containing di-RHAMNOLIPIDS has been shown to be used successfully to treat a chronic decubitus ulcer.  Three mechanisms of action of di-RHAMNOLIPIDS have been proposed for wound healing: 1) di-RHAMNOLIPIDS stimulate the significant increase in neutrophils and monocytes in bone marrow; 2) di-RHAMNOLIPIDS stimulate the proliferation of keratinocytes which are helpful for wound re-epithelialization; and 3) di-RHAMNOLIPIDS diminish fibrosis.



Nanotechnology—the formation of desirable nanoparticles;

Polymer Industry—coating of polymer surfaces; biofilms; production of water bottles;

Cryo-protectants—di-RHAMNOLIPIDS have been shown to be a promising protectant by potentiating the function of trehalose against hypothermic or cryo-preservation cell damage;

Mining Industry—coal and mineral flotation; toxic waste cleanup;

Biofuel and Ethanol—improve production;

Microbial fuel cells—improve energy generation;

Protein—protein folding; protein denaturation; in-gel staining;

Neural stem cells—stimulation of the proliferation of neural stem cells;


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