Biocompatible water softening system using cationic protein from moringa oleifera extract
Abstract - In developing countries like India, the deciding factors for the selection of the specific water purification system are the flow rate, cost of implementation and maintenance, availability of materials for fabrication or assembling, technical manpower, energy requirement and reliability. But most of them are energy and cost intensive which necessitate the development of cost-effective water purification system. In this study, the feasibility of development of an efficient and cost-effective water purifier using Moringa oleifera cationic protein coated sand column to treat drinking water is presented. Moringa oleifera seeds contain cationic antimicrobial protein which acts as biocoagulant in the removal of turbidity and also aids in water softening. The main disadvantage of using Moringa seeds in water purification is that the dissolved organic matter (DOM) which is left over in the water contributes to growth of any pathogens that come into contact with the stored water. To overcome this limitation, the Moringa oleifera cationic protein coated sand (MOCP c-sand) is prepared in which the flocculant and antimicrobial properties of the MOCP are maintained and the DOM to be rinsed away. The efficiency of MOCP c-sand in removing suspended particles and reducing total hardness (TH), chloride, total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC) was also studied. Also, it is shown that the functionalized sand showed the same treatment efficiency even after being stored dry and in dehydrated condition for 3 months. This confirms MOCP c-sand’s potential as a locally sustainable water treatment option for developing countries since other chemicals used in water purification are expensive.