On the last post, we had made mention of moringa and its seeds and also about the naturally healthy water that comes out from its usage as a water purification agent.
Still on the matter of water purification, we shall be taking a research trip to Singapore where the actual trial of this method was carried out under the guidance of Associate Professor Suresh Valiyaveettil of the Department of Chemistry at the NUS Faculty of Science.
In a bid to make clean water available at low cost, Mr Ramakrishna Mallampati, a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), experimented with water treatment techniques using materials that are easily available, and came up with novel ways to purify water using the peels of apples and tomatoes.
As can be seen both apples and tomatoes are naturally healty as water purification agents.
His study revealed that tomato peels can effectively remove different contaminants in water, including dissolved organic and inorganic chemicals, dyes and pesticides, and they can also be used in large scale applications. The results were published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal RSC Advances in September 2012.
In order to enhance the ability of apple peels towards extraction of negatively charged pollutants, Mr Ramakrishna immobilised naturally occurring zirconium oxides onto the surface of apple peels. Zirconium loaded apple peels were found to be able to extract anions such as phosphate, arsenate, arsenite, and chromate ions from aqueous solutions. This method of water purification can also be used for large scale applications.
The findings are published in the American Chemical Society journal ASC Applied Materials & Interfaces in May 2013.
Mallampati said, “[The water treatment] works based on the adsorption process. The functional groups of chemical compounds in these peels adsorb different pollutants. The adsorption process may involve a combination of ligand exchange, complex formation and electrostatic attraction processes. Adding peels to water works to reduce contaminants, but complete elimination of all pollutants depends on different parameters including concentration and chemical nature of the pollutants.”
- Take the apple and tomato peels, rub with alcohol and dry.
- The place in dirty groundwater for several hours.
- It would absorb many toxic substances, such as pesticides, heavy metals and commercial dye.
- Once the peel is removed, the water is safe to drink.
Now that is a very cheap naturally healthy water purification process.
National University of Singapore. “World’s first water treatment techniques using apple and tomato peels.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130718101049.htm>.