Moringa seed powder can be used as a quick and simple method for cleaning dirty river water. Studies showed that this simple method of filtering not only diminishes water pollution, but also harmful bacteria. The moringa powder joins with the solids in the water and sinks to the bottom. This treatment also removes 90-99% of bacteria contained in water.
Using natural materials to clarify water is a technique that has been practiced for centuries and of all the materials that have been used, seeds of moringa tree have been found to be one of the most effective.
Studies have been conducted since the early 1970’s to test the effectiveness of moringa tree seeds for treating water. These studies have confirmed that the moringa seeds are highly effective in removing suspended particles from water with medium to high levels of turbidity (moringa tree seeds are less effective at treating water with low levels of turbidity).
Solutions of moringa tree seeds for water treatment may be prepared from moringa seed kernels or from the solid residue remaining after oil extraction (presscake). Moringa tree seeds, seed kernels or dried presscake can be stored for long. Water purification methods using seeds from the Moringa tree have been known about for centuries, but their use has been limited geographically.
In order to make an effective water purification system, the Moringa tree seeds are dried and then ground into a powder. Unlike other particles in the water such as clay, bacteria, and other toxic materials which are negatively charged, the protein in the Moringa tree seed powder is positively charged, thereby attracting the negatively charged particles like a magnet. The flocs formed by the floculation process can then be easily removed by allowing the water to settle, or removed by filtration.
Moringa tree seeds treat water on two levels, acting both as a coagulant and an antimicrobial agent. It is generally accepted that moringa tree works as a coagulant due to positively charged, water-soluble proteins, which bind with negatively charged particles (silt, clay, bacteria, toxins, etc) allowing the resulting “flocs” to settle to the bottom or be removed by filtration.
Application of plant flocculants such as Moringa tree is highly recommended for domestic water purification in developing countries, where people are used to drink contaminated turbid water. Moringa tree does not guarantee that the raw water ends up completely (100%) free of pathogenic germs. It is cleaned and drinkable but not completely purified.
Within the past ten years, the Moringa tree has grown from being practically unknown, even unheard of, to being a new and promising nutritional and economic resource for developing countries. The Moringa tree leaves, which are easy to grow and rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, are becoming widely used in projects fghting against malnutrition. Producing Moringa tree leaves is also a means of generating agricultural income, developing the food processing industry and founding new businesses.