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Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880

International Conference on Solid Waste Management, 5IconSWM 2015

A Study on the Potential of Moringa Leaf and Bark Extract in

Bioremediation of Heavy Metals from Water Collected from
Various Lakes in Bangalore
Shinomol George K*, Bhanu Revathi K*, Deepa N, Pooja Sheregar C, Ashwini T.S.,
Suchandrima Das*
Department of Biotechnology, Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore, (Affiliated to Visvesvaraya
Technological University, Belagavi)India


Many industrial water bodies are polluted with organic and inorganic contaminants discharged into them as effluents.
Bioremediation is a waste water management technique that facilitates removal or neutralization of pollutants from a
contaminated site. Many plants and their extracts have been used for bioremediation of heavy metals in the process of
phytoremediation. Moringa olifera, also known as drumstick is a fast growing, drought resistant plant that belongs to the family
of Moringaceae. Its fruit and leaf are consumed as diet and the bark has healing properties as recorded in ancient medicine.
Moringa olifera seeds have been reported to have bioremedial property which can be enhanced on chemical modification. Data
optimization studies have been performed for various heavy metals and their adsorption on to the chemically modified
biosorbent.Our study aims at identifying major polluted lakes in and around Urban Bangalore and their phytoremediation using
dried and chemically modified leaf and bark powders. Contaminated water samples were collected from Bellandur, Varthur and
Hebbal lakes and were subjected to biosorption by the modified leaf and bark powders according to the parameters optimized for
seed powders. The reduction in heavy metal content was observed by Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and Atomic
Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) methods. Other physico chemical parameters like turbidity, BOD, COD, DO, Nitrate and
Phosphate content were examined to emphasize the bioremedial property of chemically modified Moringa olifera leaf and bark
extracts. Biosorption of heavy metals was found for the bark and leaf treated water samples and also reduction in the BOD, COD,
nitrate and phosphate content and turbidity were observed for both the biosorbents. These results showed the enhancement of
potability of these treated water samples and their applications in a larger scale. Further recovery and reusability of the
biosorbents for enhanced recovery of the pollutants has to be studied for their commercialization.
© 2016
2016Published by Elsevier
The Authors. B.V. This
Published is an open
by Elsevier access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility ofthe organizing committee of 5IconSWM 2015.
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of 5IconSWM 2015

* Corresponding author.

1878-0296 © 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of 5IconSWM 2015
870 K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880

Keywords:biosorption, heavy metals, Moringa, chemical modification

1.0 Introduction

There are many inorganic pollutants that contaminate various ecosystems such as air, water and soil and cause
serious problems. Toxic metal compounds that are disseminated into the environment by anthropogenic activities
contaminate not only surface water bodies such as ponds, lakes and reservoirs but even ground water after seepage
into the water table. There are many heavy metals that are resultants of industrial and domestic activities. Some of
them are Copper (Cu), Arsenic (As), Chromium (Cr), Lead (Pb), Nickel (Ni), Cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), zinc
(Zn), manganese (Mn), etc. Most of the heavy metals are released from anthropogenic sources such as mineral ores,
metallurgical industries, paints and ceramics, wood preservatives, dyes and pesticide manufacturing
industries.(Ghani and Chaghaby 2014)

Chromium is emitted into air, water and ground water in the form of a particulate. Cr (VI) is highly reactive
compared to Cr (III) and causes oxidative damage to the lungs, liver and gastrointestinal tract. The permissible limit
of Cr (VI) in drinking water is 50μg /L whereas the major rivers of our country are polluted with much more higher
concentrations exceeding the tolerable limits. (CWC report 2014). Nickel (Ni) is released from smelting operations,
battery industry, thermal power plants and others.The source of Cadmium (Cd) in water bodies is from Zinc
smelting, e-waste, paint sludge, incinerations, waste batteries& fuel combustion.Lead (Pb)is a by-product of lead
acid batterie, E-waste, Smelting operations, paints, coal- based thermal power plants, ceramics and bangle industry
(Indian National Science Academy2011).

Metal ions are being reported as priority pollutants, due to their dispersibility in natural water ecosystems and
also due to their toxicity (Demirbas A 2008). The problem associated with the existence of metal ions as pollutants
is their non-biodegradability and high persistence in the environment. They accumulate in living tissues, leading to
various diseases and disorders (Ngah andHanafiah, 2008). Heavy metals toxicity can effect in damaged or reduced
function of mental and central nervous systems, lower levels of energy and damaged blood composition, liver,
lungs, kidneys and other vital organs. (Ahmaruzzaman M, 2011)

Many strict legislations have been introduced in various countries to control water pollution. Various regulatory
bodies have prescribed the maximum permissible limits for toxic heavy metals discharge into aquatic systems. The
permissible limits for heavy metals in industrial effluents discharge set by the World Health Organization (WHO)
are 0.05-1.5(Cu), 0.1(Cd), 5-15(Zn), 0.1(Pb), 0.1-1 (Fe), and 0.05-0.5 (Mn), 0.02 (Ni), in ppm. (EPA, 2013).The
conventional methods used for the removal of metal ions from water are restricted due to technical and financial
barriers, mainly due to low concentration of heavy metals in water(<100 ppm).According to the Central Water
Commission report of 2014, heavy metals were found beyond the permissible limits in water samples from the water
quality (WQ) monitoring stations spread across 16 river basins of our country.The process of bioremediation is the
most suited process for the effective removal of heavy metals from the environment (Vidali 2001). In this effort,
biosorption has emerged as an alternative sustainable strategy for heavy metal removal (Garnica et al, 2013).

Biosorption is a physico-chemical process, defined as the removal of compounds from solution by surface
adsorption to biological material.Various waste biomaterials, micro-organisms, bacteria, fungi, yeast and algae have
been reported for the removal of metal ions from aqueous solutions. Agricultural wastes are a potential source for
biosorbents as they have lignocellulosic compounds as major constituents and also other polar functional groups
such as alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic, ketones, phenolic, thiol and ether groups(Ghani and Chaghaby, 2014).
These groups have the ability to bind heavy metals by donating an electron pair to complex the metal ions in
solution (Demirbas, 2008).

Many plants such as Neem, Garlic, Turmeric and drumstick are reported to have biosorbent properties that
chelate the heavy metals from water sources. Chemically modified biosorbents have been developed to enhance the
heavy metal chelation property. This property has been promising because of its simplicity, in line with conventional
ion-exchange technology, due to its efficiency and availability of biomass and waste bio-products.(Bennet et al
K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880 871

2003) These biosorbents are eco-friendly, easy to procure and develop and do not pose and toxic effects or side
effects to atler the potability of drinking water. The extent of biosorption can be determined by methods like AAS,
spectroscopy, fluorimetry, ICP- MS and other advanced detection techniques. The quality of water can be improved
by treating water bodies with dispersible concentrated mass of biosorbent developed to adsorb the heavy metal.

Many reserachers have focused on the use of Moringaoleifera seeds, leaves and fruits in water purification and
improvement of water quality making it portable for drinking. The seeds of various species were found to contain
cationic polyelectrolytes that are proved to be very effective in the treatment of water. Chemical modification of the
biosorbent was also done to enhance the efficiency of metal uptake. Moringaoleifera bark was found to adsorb Ni
(II) from aqueous solutions.(Reddy et al 2011) and was found to have maximum biosorption capacity of 30.38 mg/g.
(Oliveira, 1999).

Compared to other natural chemical coagulants, Moringaoleifera has various advantages such as low cost,
production of biodegradable sludge and lower sludge volume, and also it has no affecton the pH of the water. M.
oleifera seeds were found to possess turbidity removal and anti-microbial properties (Olsen 1987, Madsen et al
1987), although the anti-microbial mechanism of seeds is not yet understood completely. Various parts of M.
oleifera from many sources have been analyzed for compounds such as glucosinolates and phenolics (flavonoids,
anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and cinnamates. Every glucosinolatehas a central carbon atom which is
supposedly bonded to thioglucose group (to form asulfatedketoxime) via a sulfur atom and also bonded to a sulfate
group via a nitrogen atom. These functional groups that contain sulfur and nitrogen are responsible for good metal
sequesteration from aqueous solution.

2.0 Biosorption of heavy metals using Moringa oleifera

As Moringa oleifera seeds, leaf and bark have the ability to retain metals, it is essential to understand the
functional groups that mediate the phenomenon of adsorption. The process of biosorption by dead biomass or some
other molecules or their active groups is passive as it is based mainly on the affinity of the biosorbent with the
sorbate. In such a case, the heavy metal is sequestered by chemical sites that are naturally present in the biomass. In
most cases, the process of biosorption is rapid and requires the conditions of normal temperature and pressure. After
the phase separation process, two components: a biomass loaded with metal ions and an aqueous phase free of
contamination are to be obtained. This is followed by dealing with the “contaminated” biomass, and the concept of
great interest is biosorbent regeneration and desorption for heavy metal recovery. This process is highly efficient
because the biomass can be further used for the removal of more metal species from other contaminated effluents or
degradation of the biomass, which offers no further use but does not cause secondary pollution like other chemical
coagulants or chelators. Heavy Metal chelation occurs by complex mechanisms, such as ion-exchange and
complexation of metal ions, and the possible of occurrence of these mechanisms may be simultaneous or by varying
degrees depending on the concentration of the biomass and the metal ion and the solution composition. (Cleide et al,

The seeds and other parts are known as lignocellulosic adsorbents, mainly consisting of macromolecules that
are capable of absorbing metal ions on the surface through ion exchange or complexation (Pagnanelli et al 2003) of
the metal with the functional groups present. To understand the mechanism of adsorption it is also important to
characterize the biomass material. The metal sequestration capacity of agricultural byproduts is quite low and it has
to be enhanced by application of techniques such as cross –linking or chemical modification which may lead to a
highly efficient cation exchange resin. The addition of carboxylic group confers high cation exchange ability to
cellulosic resins and increases the biosorption capacity and improves the mechanical strength of the material due to
cross linking. (Marshall et al 1999). Many modifications have been done to enhance the biosorption properties of
corncobs, soyabean hulls and also Moringa leaves to enhance the chelation of heavy metals from aqueous systems.
It was found that citric acid and NaOH modification enhances the uptake of Pb(II), Cd(II), Cu(II) and Ni(II) from
water as per batch studies of adsorption (Reddy et al 2012).

Several techniques are used to identify the functional groups that are responsible for the adsorption
phenomenon such as the Infrared spectroscopy (Kalavathy and Miranda 2012).FTIR analysis was employedby
872 K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880

scientists to identify the characteristic functionalgroupspresenton the surface of biosorbents. The FTIR spectrum of
raw MoringaoleiferaLeaves (MOL) biomass exhibited a broad peak at 3422 cmí1which indicated the existence of
macromolecules such as cellulose, pectin, etc. and also the presence of both H-bonded amine and OHgroups.
Comparison of the IR spectra of MOL and Citric Acid (CA) modified MoringaoleiferaLeaves (CAMOL) revealed a
strong characteristic stretching vibration absorptionband of carboxyl group at 1742 cmí1in CAMOL samples. This
had confirmed the esterification between alcohol groups of cellulose in MOL and citric acid. The broad absorptions
that were seen around 2500–3500 cmí1confirmed the existence of OH groups and free COOH groups after CA
modification.It had appeared that these functional groups are responsible for biosorption. (Reddy et al 2012)

2.1 Effect of External parameters on Biosorption

There are various factors that affect the extent of biosorption in general. Various studies have been carried out
to optimize the parameters required by Moringa oliefera leaves (MOL)and bark (MOB). These parameters also vary
according to each heavy metal and the concentration of heavy metals, biosorbent dosage, solution pH and contact
time. The increase in Biosorbent dosage was found to decrease the quantity of biosorbed pollutant per unit weight of
biosorbent, butwas found to increase its removal efficiency. Initial heavy metal concentration was found to increase
the quantity of biosorbed pollutant per unit weight of biosorbent, but decreases its recovery efficiency. Solution pH
enhances the removal of cationic metals and temperature usually enhances removal of pollutant by increasing the
surface activity and also kinetic energy of the adsorbate. Biosorbent size having high surface area is favorable for
batch process. (Chojnacka 2010)

2.2 Earlier Biosorption parametric studies done on MOL and MOB:

pH is one of the main variables affecting the biosorption process, the optimum pH value for the uptake of
metals was determined using 50 mg Lí1concentration of metals. Biosorption capacities for all the metal ions are
minimum at the initial pH 2 and metal removal increases with increasing solution pH. A trend of increasing metal
ion binding with increasing pH could be observed for pH values above 2. The optimum dosage of CAMOL to
achieve the highest Biosorption is determined at pH 5. The process of biosorption reaches a level of saturation with
increasing concentration of biomass above the optimal concentration. After fixing the pH, sorbent dosage, the effect
of contact time on biosorption capacity of CAMOL is done at various initial concentrations. (Reddy et al 2012).

It was observed that the binding of the metal ions to various parts of M. oleifera such as the seed, leaf and bark
extracts increased from 22ஈC to 50ஈC. The time period of 5 minutes was chosen for the biosorption of nickel and
good results were obtained; however, longer duration (240 min) was required when using activated carbon. (Cleide
et al, 2013)

3. Materials and Methods:

3.1 Water sampling

Heavy metal polluted lakes were identified from lake bodies in and around Bangalore according to the reports
from KSPCB, 2002 and also various other studies done by Chandrappa and Lokeswari, 2006 on Bellandur
Lake(Ramesh N. and Krishniah S 2014), Varthur lake (Varadarayan et al, 2007) and Hebbal lake (Rajani and
Ramachandra 2000). Water sampling was done according to the procedure mentioned for heavy metal analysis and
estimation of BOD and COD and coliform reduction in contaminated waters. (Olszowy H A, 1998, APHA 2005).

3.2 Synthesis of CAMOL and CAMOB

Citric Acid modified Moringaoleifera leaf and bark (CAMOL and CAMOB) were synthesized according to the
procedure described by Reddy et al2012, taking sundried leaf and bark samples and the leaves and bark. The
biomass was then dried overnight at 50ஈC and called CAMOL (Citric Acid modified M.oleifera leaves) was stored
in an airtight plastic cover in refridgerator which was used for further tests. The same procedure was followed for
Moringa oleifera bark and was stored as CAMOB.
K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880 873

Fig. 1.Citric Acid Modified Moringa oleifera leaf, CAMOL (left) and Citric Acid Modified Moringa oleifera bark CAMOB (right)

3.3 Optimization of biosorption parameters and biosorption

The parameters required for the optimum pH value for the uptake of metals were determined using 50 mg
Lí1concentration of metals. Biosorption studies were performed by batch technique in conical flasks to optimize pH,
metal ion concentration, contact time and temperature. The batch studies were performed using 10-1000 mg/L metal
ion concentrations, pH 2.0 to 9.0, biosorbent dosage from 0.010-0.140 g and temperatures 293- 313 K and contact
time of 0-100 mins.(Reddy et al 2012) The solutions were filtered using Whatman filter paper 41 and the metal ion
concentrations were determined using spectrophotometric methods for Cadmium(Ullah and Haque 2010) and
Chromium (Thomas L. Allen 1958) and UV-spectrophotometric analysis for Lead and Nickel(Ranjan et al 2012).
After optimization of the parameters, further biosorption from polluted water samples was done using AAS after the
separation of the biosorbent. (APHA 2005) The extent of biosorption was calculated using the formula prescribed by
Reddy et al 2012:

Biosorption % = (Ci- Cf) X 100


3.4 Thin Layer Chromatography for determination of biosorption

Thin Layer Chromatography was done for qualitative identification of reduction in heavy metals using L- valine
as mobile phase and using Silica Gel G coated glass plates that were activated and used for spotting. The method
used was as described by Wanjari et al 2011.The pretreated and post treated water samples and the standards were
spotted on the silica gel G plate using fine glass capillaries and they were blow dried with hot air and heavy metals
were detected.

3.5 Bioremediation capacity of modified biosorbents:

Other bioremediation properties such as reduction in coliforms, reduction in BOD, COD, phosphates, nitrates
and DO and reduction in turbidity of water samples was estimated by various tests according to American Public
Health Association norms (APHA 2005). The number of coliforms in the water sample were determined by a
statistical estimation called the Most Probable Number (MPN) test. The test involves a multiple series of Durham’s
tubes and was divided into three parts: the presumptive, confirmed and completed tests.Nephelometeric method was
used for determining the amount of cloudiness which is termed as turbidity in a solution based upon measurement of
the effect of this turbidity upon the transmission and scattering of light. In nephelometry the intensity of the
scattered light was measured.
874 K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880

4. Results and Discussion

Chemical modification of biosorbent was carried out to increase the biosorption efficiency using low cost citric
acid and NaOH. The chemically modified bark and leaf powder were dried. Chemical modification increased the
surface area and thereby the adsorption ability of both the leaf and bark. Due to treatment with citric acid, polar
groups like –COOH and –OH were added onto the surface of the biosorbent which leads to considerable increase in
the cation exchange capacity. This also increased the mechanical strength of the biosorbent due to cross linking of
the incorporated acidic groups with the complex polysaccharide(Reddy et al, 2012). These biosorbents were used to
treat the raw water samples.colour of the samples changed from algae green to off white and there was a decrease in
turbidity and odour.

Fig. 2. Polluted lake water before treatment (left) and after treatment (right)

4.1 Optimization of Biosorption parameters:

Initially optimal biosorption was found at metal concentrations of 10-50 ppm for Ni, Cr, Pb and Cd solutions.
The biosorption decreased with increasing metal concentrations. Optimal pH was found to be 5 for all the metal ions
for CAMOL and CAMOB. This was found to be coinciding with the characterization results of Reddy et al, 2012
and also their group’s studies of Pb and Ni biosorption in 2010 and 2011. The optimal biomass concentration for
leaf and bark was found to be 0.04 gms beyond which at higher biomass concentrations, there was no increase in
biosorption. The ideal contact time was found to be 50-60 mins for most of the metal ions. For all the metal ions it
is observed that 50 min is enough to reach biosorption equilibrium. As contact time increases, metal uptakes
increase initially, and then become almost stable, denoting attainment of equilibrium.

4.2 Effect of biosorbent on heavy metals

In TLC detection there was a reduction in heavy metals observed from untreated to treated samples. With
respect to chromium and mercury, there was no detection in the treated samples. TLC is a crude detection method,
very low concentrations of the above metals in treated samples were not detected where as it was detected with
higher automated techniques. Wanjari et al., 2011 states the appearance of distinct spots for distinct metals.
However, this was not found even after varying the pH and L – Valine concentration.
K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880 875

Lane: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

Fig. 3. Mercury detection in pre-treated (left) bark treated samples(centre) and leaf treated samples.Lane 1: standard solution Lane 2: Hebbal
Lake 3: Bellandur lake Lane 4: Varthur lake

Fig. 4. Chromium detection in pre-treated (left) bark treated samples (centre) and leaf treated samples.Lane1: Standard solution Lane2: Hebbal
Lake, Lane3: Bellandurlake, Lane 4: Varthur lake

4.3 Heavy metal detection and removal from polluted lake water

The following were the results of AAS on water samples before treatment and after treatment

4.3 Heavy metal detection and removal from polluted lake water

The following were the results of AAS on water samples before treatment and after treatment
876 K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880

Table1: Concentrations of Heavy metals in water samples: AAS results

Sample Lead (mg/l) Nickel (mg/l) Cadmium (mg/l) Chromium (mg/l)
Permissible limit 0.05 0.01 0.02 0.003 0.05
Bellandur lake(untreated) 0.136 0.116 0.034 0.01 0.130
Varthur lake (untreated) 0.116 0.15 0.30 0.01 0.150
Hebbal lake (untreated) 0.196 0.138 0.36 0.018 0.153
Bellandur lake (bark treated) 0.104 0.026 0.026 0.004 0.068
Varthur lake(bark treated) 0.09 0.07 0.02 0.004 0.128
Hebbal lake(bark treated) 0.056 0.102 0.03 0.008 0.116
Bellandur lake(leaf treated) 0.116 0.04 0.028 0.006 0.104

Varthur lake(leaf treated) 0.082 0.11 0.022 0.006 0.078

Hebbal lake(leaf treated) 0.116 0.12 0.02 0.01 0.114

Table 2: % Biosorption as calculated from the formula for CAMOL and CAMOB treated samples

Treated samples Zinc% Lead% Nickel% Cadmium% Chromium%

Bellandur lake (bark treated) 23.5 77.5 23.5 60 53.8
Bellandur lake (leaf treated) 14.7 65.5 17.6 40 23
Varthurlake (bark treated) 22.4 53.5 33.3 60 20
Varthurlake (leaf treated) 29.3 26.6 26.6 40 53.5
Hebballake (bark treated) 71.4 26 16 55 26.6
Hebbal lake (leaf treated) 40.8 30 44 44 30.5

From AAS analysis, we see that zinc is within permissible limit (5-15mg/ml) in all 3 lakes. In Bellandur lead is
found to 11 times higher than the permissible limit (.01mg/ml), nickel twice the permissible limit (.02mg/ml).
Cadmium (.003mg/ml) and chromium (.05mg/ml) 3 times higher. In Varthur lake lead was 15 times higher, nickel
1.5 times higher, cadmium and chromium 3 times higher. In Hebbal lake lead is 14 times higher, nickel is 2 times
higher, cadmium is 6 times higher and chromium is 3 times higher. Overall it is seen that all 3 lakes are highly lead
contaminated and least zinc contaminated. The percentage of biosorption was calculated to be as follows:

Biosorption % Biosorption %

90 bark%
leaf% 70 bark%
80 leaf%
60 50
50 40
20 20
10 10
0 0

Heavy metals Heavy metals

(a) (b)
Fig. 5.%Biosorption as calculated from the formula for CAMOL and CAMOB treated samples in Bellandur Lake (a) and Varthur Lake (b)
K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880 877

Biosorption %

bark% leaf%
zinc lead nickel cadmium chromium

Heavy metals

Fig. 6. Comparison of biosorption efficiency of bark and leaf extract in Hebbal lake

From the above results it can be deduced that biosorption percentage of modified bark extract is comparatively
higher and thus efficient than the biosorption percentage of modified leaf extract. The study from Matos and
Ateruda (2006) state that grape baggase has the highest adsorption efficiency for lead because it has the largest ionic
radius whereas cobalt showed least adsorption efficiency. M. oleifera seed demonstrated a good removal of cobalt,
copper, lead, cadmium and silver (Papohet al.2011). From our studies its seen that cadmium has highest adsorption
percentage with bark and leaf extracts of M. oleiferaand nickel showed least adsorption percentage. Other metals
tested were Zinc, lead, chromium, arsenic, mercury. After cadmium, lead showed good adsorption percentage.From
the study data of Reddy et al., 2012 CAMOL has successfully adsorbed cadmium, copper and nickel with cadmium
having highest adsorption percentage. Similar results were also seen in our study.

4.4 Bioremediation properties of CAMOL and CAMOB:

Studies byAlo et al 2012 shows a 93.7-98.3 % decrease in MPN count using M. oleifera seeds. Same study was
conducted using M. oleifera leaf and bark extract, showing 91.5% efficiency with bark extract and 98.9% with leaf
extract. From the experiments carried out it was found that for double strength media there was a slight decrease in
the number of microorganisms in the leaf treated water sample whereas no decrease was found in bark treated
sample. For single strength 1X there was slight decrease between the untreated and both the treated samples and for
single strength for 0.1X a huge difference was seem. On comparison of antimicrobial properties of M. oleifera leaf,
bark and seed extract it was found that leaf has the highest efficiency and therefore is the most desired biosorbent
obtained from M. oleifera.

Table 3: Physicochemical parameters: detection for Bellandur lake

Leaf % decrease % decrease

Parameters Untreated Sample Bark Treated
Treated leaf treated bark treated
Turbidity (NTU) 36.7 16.1 50.1 8.3 77.3
Inorganic phosphate(mg/l) 15.5 7.65 50.6 8.85 94.2
Inorganic nitrate(mg/l) 145.7 96.1 34.04 65.75 54.8
DO (mg/l) 6.2 6 No change 6.1 No change
COD(mg/l) 3200 100 84.2 680 1.7
BOD(mg/l) 171 27 96.8 168 96.8
878 K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880

Table 4: Physicochemical parameters: detection for Varthur lake

Untreated Percentage decrease Percentage decrease

Parameters Leaf Treated Bark Treated
Sample leaf treated bark treated
Turbidity(NTU) 36.1 7.7 78.6 30 16.8
Inorganic phosphate(mg/l) 9.5 8.8 7.3 4.15 56.3
Inorganic nitrate(mg/l) 157.8 85.65 45.7 107.65 31.7
Dissolved Oxygen(mg/l) 6.2 6 No change 6 No change
COD(mg/l) 1600 120 98.2 1400 3.5
BOD(mg/l) 168 3 92.5 162 12.5

Table 5: Physicochemical parameters: detection for Hebbal lake

Leaf Percentage decrease leaf
Parameters Untreated Sample Bark Treated decrease bark
Treated treated
Turbidity(NTU) 2.3 1.5 34.7 1.53 33.4
Inorganic phosphate(mg/l) 7.55 1.5 80.1 4.8 36.4
Inorganic nitrate(mg/l) 157.3 80.75 48.6 150.65 4.2
Dissolved Oxygen(mg/l) 6.2 5.8 No change 6.2 No change
COD(mg/l) 1000 160 84 800 20
BOD(mg/l) 75 12 84 60 20

Analysis of the result obtained from the experiments carried out to find dissolved oxygen content in the raw
water sample and the leaf and bark treated water sample showed that CA-MOB and CA-MOL did not show any
significant effect on the dissolved oxygen content of the water. From the experiments conducted to estimate the
amount of inorganic phosphate and nitrate content found in the raw water sample and later in the CA-MOL and CA-
MOB treated water sample, it was found that there was a significant decrease in the amount of phosphate and nitrate
content and a visible reduction in turbidity and odor of the treated samples and also the reduction in BOD and COD
was significant. All these parameters indicate the extent of bioremediation possible and also the improvement in the
quality of water after treatment.
Overall it was observed that bark extracts has good adsorption capacity and leaf extracts have better
antimicrobial properties. Reduction of other physicochemical parameters was more efficient with leaf extract. Thus
use of M. oleiferais efficient, eco-friendly and economical.


Moringa oleifera bark can be used as an alternative sorbent for metal ion removal from contaminated waters.
This can be compared to the seeds for which most papers report 60 to 90% removal of metals. In these cases, not
only the seeds, but also leaves, bark and pods show the great versatility of this plant. However, after the heavy metal
removal from aqueous solutions by the biomass, the recovery of the metal and reusability of the biosorbent is an
important issue. This can be aimed through a metal desorption process, focussing at weakening the heavy metal-
biomass linkage. Thus, the evaluation of the reversibility of the adsorption in the biosorption of heavy metals is also
majorly significant. The problems associated with the disposal of used adsorbent could be solved either by its
reactivation or biodegradation after heavy metal recovery. For the biosorption and desorption processes, another
important aspect is the reuse of the biosorbent in successive biosorption-desorption cycles, the extent of which is
dependent upon the cost-benefit relationship between the loss of biosorption capacity during the desorption cycles
and the operational yield in the metal recovery. Hence, further studies need to be focussed on the development of
novel clean environmentally-acceptable technologies.
K. Shinomol George et al. / Procedia Environmental Sciences 35 (2016) 869 – 880 879


Our heartfelt thanks to God almighty for giving us strength and making the work happen ,also to the Central
Ground Water Board, South Western regional Head Quarters, Bangalore and to Dr.SeshaSrinivasVutukuru of
Srinidhi Institute of Science and Technology, Hyderabad for his valuable guidance.


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