A Novel, Eco-Friendly Bioremediation of Lead-Contaminated Water


Lead exposure is a global problem, especially in developing countries where lead poisoning accounts for 853,000 annual deaths. The objective of this experiment was to design an eco-friendly method for the bio-remediation of lead-contaminated water which would alleviate this problem. The Moringa Oleifera (MO) seeds were the main component of the bio-remediation system because they are locally available and have adsorbing properties that could be used in purifying heavy metal-contaminated water. It was hypothesized that with this method it would be possible to significantly reduce lead in effluent water. The procedure included designing and constructing a filter, de-oiling Moring seeds, preparing heavy metal-contaminated water, experimenting with Moringa treatment and sand filtration, and testing samples with an AA-Spectrometer. The variables tested were dosage of Moringa, pH, treatment time, and effects of initial concentration and 2-Stage Filtration. The hypothesis was supported by results. The pre-treatment with Moringa and filtration through the sand filter was most efficient - 100% removal of lead after one treatment and filtration. The treatment with only Moringa seeds was also very effective – over 96% of lead removal. The optimal conditions for lead removal are 3g/100mL of Moringa at pH=8 and 20min pre-treatment time. Moreover, this pre-treatment/filtration method for lead removal is simple, extremely cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly. It has great potential to be the ultimate bio-remediation method for lead removal in developing countries.