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Used Crushed Moringa Seeds To Clean Water

It has been proven that crushed Moringa Oleifera seeds can clean water in an affordable manner.

Photo of Eric Geisterfer

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Numerous studies have been done on Moringa Oleifera seeds and their ability to clean water. Here is the latest study conducted by Penn State.

There is a water treatment plant in Thyolo Malawi that uses Moringa seeds with great success and at a much lower cost than chemicals. 

The great thing about Moringa Oleifera is:

1) It's native to India.

2) It grows extremely fast so it can be scaled up at a low cost.

3) The leaves and seeds have proven anti-parasitic properties (which goes hand in hand with dirty water).

4) It's also considered to be the most nutritious plant on earth (but that's a subject for another OpenIDEO challenge).

There are a number of nonprofit or for profit ways to proceed. The general idea is for a local Indian company to teach families how to use the crushed Moringa seeds to clean their water, and distribute (nonprofit) or sell (for profit) packets of crushed Moringa seeds so families can use the packets to purify their water. If possible, while doing so, they can also teach families how to use Moringa seeds and leafs as anti parasitic medicine.

How would you describe the stage of development of your idea?

  • Conceptual Development

How big or scalable is the potential of your idea?

Since Moringa is native to India, grows very quickly and doesn't require a lot of resources to grow, it can be scaled up cheaply and quickly.

Explain the sustainability aspect of your idea

Since Moringa is native to India, grows very quickly and doesn't require a lot of resources to grow, it is easily sustainable.

What types of financing would be required for your idea to be successful?

Even though India has a low per capita income, there are plenty of rich people in India. There is no reason why they can't finance this themselves to help their own people. After all, isn't karma an Indian concept?

In-country experience

  • Not yet

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I don't live in India but I promote the use of Moringa where ever possible. This challenge was tailored made for Moringa! If you want to find out more about how Moringa can conquer malnutrition around the world go to a nonprofit website that promotes the various uses of Moringa.


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Photo of Jason Shevetz

It is absolutely fascinating. However, it looks as though in simply precipitates the visible contaminant. Bacteria and parasites are colorless. Is anyone aware of any study validating that Moringa seed actually has bactericidal properties?

Photo of Eric Geisterfer

Hi Jason,
Thanks for commenting. the study conducted by Penn State which I link to, states that:"In recent years, the water-clarifying ability of Moringa powder was found to be due to a positively-charged protein called the Moringa Oleifera Cationic Protein (MOCP). When you crush the seeds and add them to water, this protein will kill some of the microbial organisms and cause them to clump together and settle to the bottom of the container.

However, the dried seed powder alone is not ideal for water purification because the organic matter from the seed will remain in the water, providing a food source for any bacteria that have not been killed. As a result, water treated with this seed does not remain safe to drink after some time in storage.

In 2012, Velegol and a team of Penn State researchers published a paper showing that MOCP can easily be attached to grains of sand. When the sand is mixed with unsafe water, bacteria stick to the sand and are killed. The newly-clean water can then be removed and stored for later use. Then the sand can be rinsed to remove the organic matter and “recycled” for another round of purification."

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