Moringa oleifera – an Effective Way to Treat the Urban Wastewater

Water pollution is one of the top environmental problems that we are facing today, and people are looking for different solutions to treat the wastewater before discharging it into rivers, lakes, seas, and soil. As more water bodies are getting polluted, their availability is decreasing as a result of physical, chemical, and/or biological contamination, which degrades water quality and has an impact on health, social, technical, and economic development.

Currently, research into better processes and the elimination of contaminants that impair water quality is of the utmost importance; one of these processes is the improvement in coagulation, using natural agents which can reduce the process and the cost of operation.

The advantages of using natural methods for the treatment of domestic wastewater are: the implementation of relatively simple technology, low operating and investment costs, low energy consumption, the treatment process can be adapted quickly, achieving a high level of performance after the start of operations, and high nutrient removal since they possess a complex chemical structure, which generally consists of various types of polysaccharides and proteins. Some of them also have coagulating or flocculating qualities.

Seeds from the Moringa tree have unique water purification properties. The seed extract can separate unwanted particulates from water sediment impurities. They also have potential as an anti-microbial treatment – the unprocessed seed powder may sediment over 90% of the bacteria from raw water.

In a recent study published by the Journal Nature Environment and Pollution Technology, the researchers have analyzed the use of Moringa oleifera seeds to treat the wastewater naturally. According to the researchers, Moringa oleifera powder was found to be a natural, efficient, and easy to use as an alternative for the treatment of wastewater. The results of the study showed that moringa seed powder was found to be effective as a flocculant and natural coagulant. With an optimum dose of 300mg/L, a maximum percentage of turbidity degradation was achieved. The decrease in Total Suspended Solids from the moringa coagulant was statistically similar to that obtained by aluminum and iron salts.

Another advantage of using Moringa oleifera is that it does not produce changes in the control parameters such as pH and conductivity as compared to the other salts like aluminum and ferric salts due to the presence of heavy metals in the water.

The low cost and high availability of this seed material also represent an important opportunity in developing sustainable water purification and could help provide clean water to small communities in developing countries where Moringa grows. This can help optimize the use of this valuable natural resource – which grows around the world, in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America – to develop reliable and sustainable infrastructures for safe drinking water across the globe.  

The detailed study can be found here: NEPT

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