Stephanie Velegol and Manish Kumar

Using Moringa oleifera sees to sustainably produce clean drinking water

Our research has focused on using the seeds from the Moringa oleifera tree to create an innovating and sustainable water treatment technique for the developing world.  This tree grows in equatorial regions of the world where clean water is lacking.  The seeds contain a cationic antimicrobial peptide that will adsorb preferentially to sand, creating “sticky killer” sand that can remove 99.999% of E. coli. Our current model predicts removal of 1 micron particles (like bacteria) using the clean bed filtration theory.  The next step in this project is to test the filter for removal of nanoparticles and viruses and to model this removal.  Over the summer the student will be running column experiments using both nanoparticles and non-toxic viruses and using these results to modify existing models.  This student would be working in both Dr. Velegol and Dr. Kumar’s labs along with a graduate student and a number of undergraduate students.  More information can be found at

Faculty Research Links

Contact Information

Esther Gomez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
REU Program Coordinator

Manish Kumar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
REU Program Coordinator

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