Clarification of high-turbidity waters: a comparison of Moringa oleifera and virgin and recovered aluminum sulfate-based coagulants


Quality potable water it is of utmost importance for public health. Coagulation plays an important role in the chemical and physical characteristics and aesthetics of water, to separate suspended solids from water. The present work evaluates four coagulants clarification efficiency in high-turbidity waters, by comparing alternative coagulants such as Moringa Oleifera oily seed extract and recovered aluminum sulfate with commercially available aluminum sulfate. In most cases, apparent color and turbidity removal efficiencies were higher than 90%. Recovered aluminum sulfate showed a better result compared to virgin coagulant for high pHs. Moringa oleifera coagulants are advantageous for their non-impact in final pH, although the difficulty in obtaining large harvest areas precludes their application on a larger scale. Results supported discussions about advantages, disadvantages and limitations of each coagulant and demonstrated the technical feasibility of applying these to high-turbidity waters. This application promoted a superior sustainability index related to water treatment, reducing the costs in comparison with commercial coagulant acquisition, besides decreasing health risks caused by its excessive use.

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We thank the Coordinator of the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, CAPES; in Portuguese) for the given support, evidenced by Doctor of Science scholarship award granted to Ivan Felipe Silva dos Santos. The authors would like to thank the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, CNPq; in Portuguese), for granting productivity in research scholarship to Prof. Regina Mambeli Barros (PQ2, Process number: 301986/2015-0). The authors thank Prof. Dr. Herlane Costa Calheiros for the concession of the Laboratory of Sanitation (LabSan) of the Institute of Natural Resources of the Federal University of Itajubá to carry out the experimental analyses and the NGO Movimento Verde Paracatu for the seeds availability of Moringa Oleifera seeds without costs.

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Correspondence to Ivan Felipe Silva dos Santos.

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Rocha, V.V.F., dos Santos, I.F.S., Silva, A.M.L. et al. Clarification of high-turbidity waters: a comparison of Moringa oleifera and virgin and recovered aluminum sulfate-based coagulants. Environ Dev Sustain 22, 4551–4562 (2020).

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  • Clarification
  • Aluminum sulfate reuse
  • Moringa oleifera
  • High-turbidity waters