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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 122-128

The Efficacy of the Seeds of Adansonia digitata L. as a Biocoagulant and Disinfectant in Water Purification


1 Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication2-Feb-2017

Correspondence Address:
Ocholi PR Edogbanya
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2423-7752.199289

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  Abstract 

Context: Water is an essential commodity for the sustenance of life, yet its availability is drastically reducing due to pollution. The conventional methods used for the treatment of water is relatively expensive and not readily available and hence the need for alternative sustainable means of water treatment. Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of Adansonia digitata L. seeds as a biocoagulant and disinfectant in the purification of water. Materials and Methods: Dried fruits of A. digitata were collected from the Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The seeds were excised, washed, sun-dried, powdered and defatted using n-hexane. Synthetic turbid water used for the biocoagulant study was prepared using beneficiated kaolin while that used for disinfection studies was prepared using Escherichia coli isolate. Surface water was also used for the study and was obtained from the Kubanni Reservoir, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The experimental design was complete randomized design (CRD). Experiments were performed in triplicates using 0 mg/L (control), 50 mg/L, 100 mg/L, 150 mg/L and 200 mg/L of A. digitata seed extract. Statistical Analysis: One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the means of the various parameters measured. Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT) was used in separating means where significant. The level of significance was taken at P < 0.05. Results: Results revealed that as a biocoagulant, an optimum dose of 150 mg/L was able to reduce turbidity of synthetic water significantly (P < 0.05) by 96.7% while there was no significant reduction in the turbidity of surface water. As a disinfectant, a dose of 200 mg/L was able to significantly reduce (P < 0.05) the concentration of E. coli of synthetic water from 1.65 × 104 cfu/mL to 5.00 × 102 cfu/mL (97.0%) and that of surface water from 4.27 × 102 cfu/mL to 6.67 × 101 cfu/mL (84.4%). Conclusion: From the investigations done, A. digitata seeds possess biocoagulant and disinfectant potentials, which may be harnessed for water purification.

Keywords: Adansonia digitata l, biocoagulant, disinfectant, purification, seed, water


How to cite this article:
Edogbanya OP, Abolude DS, Adelanwa MA, Ocholi OJ. The Efficacy of the Seeds of Adansonia digitata L. as a Biocoagulant and Disinfectant in Water Purification. J Earth Environ Health Sci 2016;2:122-8

How to cite this URL:
Edogbanya OP, Abolude DS, Adelanwa MA, Ocholi OJ. The Efficacy of the Seeds of Adansonia digitata L. as a Biocoagulant and Disinfectant in Water Purification. J Earth Environ Health Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2018 Dec 18];2:122-8. Available from: http://www.ijeehs.org/text.asp?2016/2/3/122/199289


  Introduction Top


Water is a basic resource; it is also the most essential liquid substance, and the sustenance of life is highly dependent on its availability.[1] The importance of water cannot be overemphasized, as it is used for domestic, agricultural, industrial, economic and commercial purposes.

In the year 2015, it was estimated that 663 million people worldwide still utilize unimproved drinking water sources, including unprotected wells, springs and surface water.[2] It is also reported that almost half of all the people using unimproved drinking water sources live in Sub-Saharan Africa, while one-fifth live in Southern Asia.[2] It is estimated that 79% of people using unimproved sources and 93% of people using surface water live in rural areas.[2]

The environment has a way of multiplying and giving back what man gives to it, so man has become a snare to himself, by constantly discharging harmful substances into his environment.[3] According to AQUASTAT, an estimate of about 109 m3/year municipal wastewater is produced annually.[4]

Polluted water causes serious health implications worldwide. Waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and water-related vector-borne diseases like malaria are among the leading causes of death, especially affecting children and other vulnerable groups. Polluted water causes serious health implications worldwide.[5]

Drinking water treatment involves a number of unit processes. Commonly used chemicals for the various treatment units are synthetic organic and inorganic substances (such as alum, chlorine, acrylamide and activated carbon); usually, these chemicals are expensive and are not readily available, especially in the rural areas.[6] Apart from these, they also constitute a number of health problems − for instance, the use of alum has been reported to cause Alzheimer’s disease;[6],[7],[8] while some synthetic organic polymers such as acrylamide have strong neurotoxic and carcinogenic effect;[9] chlorine being a strong oxidizing agent reacts with natural organic matter (NOM) to form disinfection by-products (DBPs), and these DBPs have been associated with increased risk for cancer and other health-related issues.[10],[11],[12],[13] They have also been reported to be non-eco-friendly, as they tend to affect non-target organisms[14] and are usually non-biodegradable.[15]

Since the use of conventional methods for water treatment in developing countries is unsustainable, there is a need to consider alternative technologies of water treatment using naturally occurring materials.[15] One of the areas that holds great prospect is the plant kingdom. Different plants have been reported to possess water purifying properties, with the most common being Moringa oleifera Lam, and the others include Maerua subcordata Gilg., Opuntia spp., Cicer arietinum L., Dolichos lablab L., and a host of others.[16],[17],[18],[19],[20]

Adansonia digitata − Baobab (commonly known as “Kuka” in northern Nigeria) is a deciduous tree belonging to the Malvacaea family and is indigenous to arid central Africa.[21],[22] It is widely distributed and can be found in most of Sub-Sahara Africa’s semi-arid and sub-humid regions as well as in western Madagascar.[23] It is an imposing large deciduous tree with large pendulous-shaped fruits having a velvet coat (the velvet coat is known to itch when it comes in contact with the skin). Different parts of the tree are used as foods and medicines including the back fibres, and no part of the tree is a waste.[24],[25],[26],[27],[28]

This research attempts to evaluate the efficacy of seeds of A. digitata as a biocoagulant and disinfectant in water purification.


  Materials and Methods Top


Collection and preparation of plant material

Dried fruits of A. digitata used for the study were collected from a single tree in the Botanical Garden of the Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and were taken to the herbarium of the Department for verification and confirmation. It was allocated a herbarium voucher number of 2512. The fruits were split open, seeds were mechanically removed, properly washed with distilled water, sun-dried, pulverized into powder using mortar and pestle, sieved through a pore size of about 1 mm and stored in airtight containers for further usage.

Proximate analysis

The proximate analysis (moisture, ash, crude lipid, crude protein, crude fibre and carbohydrate) of seeds of A. digitata was determined using AOAC (1990)[29] [Table 1].
Table 1: Proximate composition of A. digitata seeds

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Collection of surface water sample

Surface water sample was collected from the River Kubanni Reservoir, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, using proethylene containers at Latitude 11°8′4.39″ N and Longitude 7°39′26.24″ E. The actual location of collection was determined using Global Positioning System (GPS). The first 50–100 mL of sample was used to rinse the containers first before the required volume was collected. The initial turbidity of surface water was about 500 NTU [Table 2].
Table 2: Physicochemical parameters of surface and synthetic water

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Preparation of synthetic turbid water

Synthetic turbid water was prepared by adding 10 g beneficiated kaolin (obtained from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria) to 1 L of tap water. The suspension was stirred for 1 h to achieve uniform dispersion of kaolin particles, and then it was allowed to remain for 24 h for completing hydration of the particles. This was used as stock solution. Diluting 50 mL of stock solution in 1000 mL of water gave a turbidity of about 200 NTU [Table 2], which was used for the study.[30],[31]

Extraction of active component from Adansonia digitata seeds

The powdered A. digitata seed was de-fatted using n-hexane (which served as solvent) in electro-thermal soxhlet extractor (Gallenkamp, England) (the removal of fat was done to reduce the amount of organics released into water during treatment which may have impact on the quality of water). Powdered seed (30 g) was weighed in and put into the thimble of the soxhlet extractor; then, the apparatus was mounted and allowed to run for 1 h, after which the powder was removed and dried over a hot plate at low heat to evaporate the n-hexane. The A. digitata cake residue after oil extraction was used in the preparation of the extract. Four different concentrations (50 mg/L, 100 mg/L, 150 mg/L and 200 mg/L) of the coagulant reagent were prepared by suspending the required weighed amount of de-fatted powdered seed in 1 L of distilled water, which was then stirred for 15 min using a flocculator (PCI Ltd, England) to extract active components. After that, the suspension was filtered through Whatman filter paper No. 1.[9],[32] Before each experiment, a fresh coagulant reagent was prepared, because keeping it overnight reduced the effectiveness.

Jar tests experiment

The Jar test experiment was performed using a flocculator (PCI Ltd, England). The different doses of coagulant reagent (50 mg/L, 100 mg/L, 150 mg/L and 200 mg/L) were added to different beakers of the apparatus containing 1 L of synthetic turbid water, except to one which served as the control. Mixing of the coagulant with water was provided by rapid mixing at 100 rpm for approximately 3 min followed by slow mixing at 30 rpm for approximately 17 min. The propellers were stopped and the content of the jars left to settle for approximately 30 min. After sedimentation, the supernatants were decanted for water quality determination.[33] The same procedure was done for surface water. The experiments were performed in triplicates.

The turbidity removal efficiency (Re) was calculated using the equation



Here, To and Te are the initial turbidity and final turbidity (after 30 min of allowing to settle) respectively.

Measurements of physicochemical parameters

Turbidity, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, alkalinity, hardness and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were measured according to standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater.[34]

Disinfection experiment

Nutrient broth (13 g) was dissolved in 1000 mL of distilled water by heating slightly. The mixture was sterilized at 130°C for 15 min in autoclave. The sterilized broth was cooled to room temperature and was used to prepare the  Escherichia More Details coli culture. Clinical isolates of E. coli were obtained from the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and were grown in 10 mL nutrient broth at 37°C overnight to obtain an exponential growth phase. The culture was standardized to 1:5000 using normal saline and this was used as the synthetic water for the disinfection experiment.[32],[35]

Four different doses (50 mg/L, 100 mg/L, 150 mg/L and 200 mg/L) of the extract were added to four different test tubes containing 10 mL of the E. coli suspension and incubated for 2 h without agitation. The various cell survivals were assessed by making dilution series of bacterial suspensions, plating on Mueller Hinton agar dishes, and incubated for 24 h at 37°C. Triplicates were made of every individual assay. Colonies were counted on dishes and the cell survival ratio was estimated by comparison to a control experiment where no extract was added (0 mg/L). The disinfection experiment was also performed for surface water.[32],[36]

The coliform forming unit per mL (cfu/mL) was calculated using the equation:



Statistical analysis

The experimental design used was complete randomized design (CRD). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the means of the various parameters measured, and New Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT) was used to separate means where significant. Level of significance was taken at P < 0.05. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Software (version 20) was used to run the analysis.


  Results and Discussion Top


Effect of biocoagulant on turbidity

It was observed that an increase in the dosage of biocoagulant caused a significant reduction (P < 0.05) in the turbidity of the synthetic turbid water, which resulted in an increase in clarity [Table 3]. An optimal dose of 150 mg/L was able to significantly (P < 0.05) decrease turbidity of synthetic water by 96.7%; however, there was no significant reduction (P > 0.05) in the turbidity of surface water [Figure 1]. During the jar test experiment, flocs began to form in synthetic turbid water at about 5 min after the commencement of stirring. The decrease in turbidity of synthetic water observed may be due to the fact the seeds contain coagulant proteins and/or polysaccharides which have been reported to have charged ions, which when released in water leads to the adsorption and neutralization of the oppositely charged colloid which are responsible for turbidity in water. This results in the agglomeration of colloids and leads to the formation of flocs which eventually settle and caused clarification of turbid water. An increase in dosage of biocoagulant probably led to an increase in availability of these charged ions, which in turn was responsible for increased clarification of water.[37],[38] The failure for biocoagulant to cause a significant decrease in turbidity of surface water may be due to the very high initial turbidity of surface water (500 NTU) which rendered the biocoagulant ineffective; this also may be responsible for the insignificant effect (P > 0.05) that the biocoagulant had on other parameters of the surface water such as hardness, alkalinity and EC.
Table 3: One-way ANOVA for the effect of biocoagulant on the turbidity of synthetic water

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Figure 1: Effect of different doses of A. digitata seed biocoagulant on turbidity

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Effect of biocoagulant on chemical oxygen demand

An increase in dosage of biocoagulant caused a significant increase (P < 0.05) in the COD of both the synthetic and surface turbid water [Table 4] and [Table 5]. A dose of 200 mg/L increased the COD of synthetic turbid water and surface water from 150 mg/L to 230 mg/L and 70 mg/L to 100 mg/L respectively [Figure 2]. The significant increase (P < 0.05) in COD is due to the fact that the introduction of the biocoagulant resulted in an increase in the organic load of water, thereby requiring more oxygen for the oxidation of these organic compounds. The increase in COD is a major challenge in the use of natural coagulants in the treatment of water, for it tends to reduce the shelf life of stored water, because the organics released in water begin to favour microbial activities after a period of time.[6]
Table 4: One-way ANOVA for the effect of biocoagulant on the COD of synthetic water

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Table 5: One-way ANOVA for the effect of biocoagulant on the COD of surface water

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Figure 2: Effect of different doses of A. digitata seed biocoagulant on COD

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Effect of biocoagulant on hardness

An increase in dosage of biocoagulant resulted in a decrease in the hardness of both the synthetic turbid water and surface water. But this decrease was not statistically significant (P > 0.05) [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Effect of different doses of A. digitata seed biocoagulant on hardness

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Effect of biocoagulant on alkalinity

There was a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in the alkalinity of synthetic turbid water with an increase in dosage of biocoagulant. A dose of 200 mg/L reduced the alkalinity of synthetic turbid water from 9.00 mg/L to 4.33 mg/L [Figure 4]. The significant decrease (P < 0.05) in alkalinity observed may be due to the fact that the cations introduced into the water react with the anions responsible for alkalinity (OH, CO3, HCO3) in water, thereby reducing its ability to react with Hydrogen ions (H+) and hence causing a decrease in alkalinity.[39] However, there was no significant change (P > 0.05) in alkalinity of surface water [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Effect of different doses of A. digitata seed biocoagulant on alkalinity

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Effect of biocoagulant on total dissolved solids

An increase in the dose of biocoagulant caused an increase in the TDS of both the model water and surface water. But the increase was not statistically significant (P > 0.05) [Figure 5]. The non-significant increase in TDS may be due to the fact that the dosage of biocoagulant was relatively low.
Figure 5: Effect of different doses of A. digitata seed biocoagulant on TDS

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Effect of biocoagulant on electrical conductivity

There was a significant increase (P < 0.05) in the EC of the synthetic water with an increase in the dosage of biocoagulant [Table 6]. A dose of 200 mg/L increased the EC from 111.67 μs/cm to 119.60 μs/cm [Figure 6]. The significant increase in EC may be due to the slight increase in dissolved solids as the concentration of biocoagulant increased.[33] However, an increase in dosage of biocoagulant had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on the EC of the surface water.
Table 6: One-way ANOVA for the effect of biocoagulant on the EC of synthetic water

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Figure 6: Effect of different doses of A. digitata biocoagulant on EC

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Effect of biocoagulant on pH

An increase in the dosage of biocoagulant caused no significant difference (P > 0.05) in the pH of both the synthetic water and surface water [Figure 7]. This is an advantage biocoagulants have over conventional coagulants like alum, which tend to cause an increase in acidity (due to reduction of pH).[33],[40]
Figure 7: Effect of different doses of A. digitata biocoagulant on pH

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Effect of biocoagulant on concentration of Escherichia coli

An increase in the dose of biocoagulant resulted in a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in concentration of E. coli in synthetic water. A dose of 200 mg/L was able to reduce concentration of E. coli of synthetic water from 1.65 × 104 cfu/mL to 5.00 × 102 cfu/mL (97.0%) and that of surface water from 4.27 × 102 cfu/mL to 6.67 × 101 cfu/mL (84.4%) [Figure 8]. A steep reduction from 1.65 × 102 cfu/mL to 1.80 × 101 cfu/mL (89.11%) in the concentration of E. coli in synthetic water was observed as the dose of biocoagulant increased from 0 mg/L to 50 mg/L. This may be due to the fact that the biocoagulant was effective in drastically reducing the concentration of E. coli at doses even below 50 mg/L.The antimicrobial effect of biocoagulants has not yet been fully understood; however, some researchers suggest that it may be attributed to flocculation or bacteriacidal effect of the coagulant protein present in them. By flocculation, the biocoagulant proteins cause aggregation of the microorganisms, causing them to be settled in the sludge formed after treatment. By bacteriacidal effect, the biocoagulant may contain some compounds (such as antinutrients and antimicrobial peptides), which may cause a disruption in the normal biological function of the cells, thereby leading to inhibition of their growth. Generally, the mechanism of action of biocoagulant proteins has not yet being fully understood.[6],[26]
Figure 8: Effect of different doses of A. digitata seed biocoagulant on E. coli

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  Conclusion Top


A. digitata seeds possess potentials both as a biocoagulant and disinfectant in water. It was not very effective in its crude form, especially in high turbid water, as it was unable to bring turbidity and concentration of E. coli within the acceptable limits of 5 NTU and 0 cfu/mL (USEPA, 2012)[41]. Its performance may be improved by isolation and purification of the coagulant protein and/or polysaccharide responsible for reduction in turbidity; this may be further researched into. As it had no significant effect on pH, it may be considered for use as a complement to conventional coagulants like alum, which tends to alter pH of water.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
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    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]


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Ijarotimi Oluwole Steve,Ebisemiju Moniola Oyenike,Oluwalana Isaac Babatunde
American Journal of Food Technology. 2017; 12(5): 285
[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

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