279710 Moringa Oleifera Tree for Producing Drinkable Water: Quantifying Biochemical Changes within the Seeds

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 2:10 PM
408 (Convention Center )
Darrell Velegol1, Stephanie B. Velegol2, Danny Hoover1, Georgia Karmee1, Benjamin Kutz2 and Kamil Siniakowicz1, (1)Chemical Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA, (2)Civil Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA

The seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree have been used for centuries to produce drinkable water in the developing world.  Simply crushing the seed into water releases a cationic, antimicrobial peptide (AMP) that flocculate turbidity and penetrate and disrupt the membranes of many pathogens.  Previously, we have been able to demonstrate that when the AMP from the seed is adsorbed onto sand to create functionalized sand (“f-sand”), that the AMP retains its effectiveness both for turbidity removal and killing of certain pathogens.  However, anecdotal evidence also indicates that these seeds work only when they are dried on the tree, pointing to a biochemical change within the seed itself as it dries.  We quantify this change by testing the ability of the seeds at various stages of growth to remove turbidity and inactivate pathogens.  We also compare turbidity and disinfection results of the active peptide dissolved in bulk solution with those from the active peptide adsorbed onto carrier surfaces.

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