confirmation of adherence of moringa oleifera cationic protein to sand and storability of functionalized sand

Open Access
Mccullough, Lauren Rae
Area of Honors:
Chemical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Darrell Velegol, Thesis Supervisor
  • Darrell Velegol, Honors Advisor
  • Andrew Zydney, Faculty Reader
  • moringa oleifera
  • water treatment
Moringa oleifera (Moringa) seeds contain a natural cationic protein (MOCP) which has flocculant and antimicrobial properties. As a result, it is used for water clarification. However, use of Moringa seeds to clarify water does not produce potable water. Although the water is initially clarified and drinkable, dissolved organic matter (DOM) is left over in the water. DOM contributes to growth of any pathogens that come into contact with the stored water. This results in water that, once clarified, must be used immediately and cannot be stored for any amount of time. A new way of using Moringa seeds to clarify drinking water has been developed. This new method allows the flocculant and antimicrobial properties of the MOCP to be maintained and the DOM to be rinsed away. This is achieved through adsorption of the MOCP to the surface of sand. The result is MOCP functionalized sand, or f-sand. It has been shown that the protein remains adsorbed onto the sand and the ability of the antimicrobial functionalized sand (f-sand) to clarify turbidity and kill bacteria is maintained . The presence of MOCP on the surface of the sand was confirmed through SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry and the adsorption of the protein was studied briefly using absorbance at 280 nm. The DOM was shown to be significantly reduced in solution treated by measuring biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). The functionalized sand was shown to be effective after being stored wet, as well as after being dehydrated and stored dry. This confirms f-sand’s potential as a locally sustainable water treatment option for developing communities.