Investigating the bacterial inactivation potential of purified okra (Hibiscus esculentus) seed proteins in water purification
The ability of purified okra protein (POP) as coagulant and as disinfectant material in comparison with aluminium sulphate (AS) in water treatment was assessed. A laboratory jar test experiments and Colilert-18/Quanti-Tray method of bacterial analysis were conducted using POP as coagulant in treating river water. The results show an excellent dual performance function of POP against the conventional coagulant, AS in drinking water treatment. It was observed that a marked inactivation of approximately 100% of faecal and E-coli count in raw water was achieved with POP and zero regrowth of bacteria after 72-hour post treatment. However, there was regrowth in total coliform count as a result of the presence of other microbes other than E-coli and faecal coliform in the system. In all cases AS showed a reduced performance against the two indicator organisms achieving only 93% with remarkable regrowth of E-coli and faecal coliform after prolonged storage time in the clarified water. Turbidity removal was also noted to be approximately similar, 92% across all coagulants tested. Therefore, the use of POP in water treatment could improve access to clean water in developing countries and could help in reducing the import of water treatment chemicals.