Investigation of chemical and biochemical properties of Maerua subcordata
This paper reports some findings of chemical as well as biochemical studies of Maerua subcordata plant juice extract. The studies include: chemical composition of the juice such as mineral contents, protein and polysaccharide contents. These tests were carried out both in the juice extracts and in the “flocs”. The latter samples were analyzed to establish whether the material that settled as a result of clarification had minerals, protein and/or polysaccharides. While there were no significant amounts of minerals found in the juice or in the flocs, there were significant amounts of polysaccharides in the juice as well as in the flocs. However it was found that there were insignificant amounts of proteins in the settled flocs. This was indication that polysaccharides in the juice were precipitated along with the sediments present in water. Further biochemical experiments on the identity of polysaccharides which apparently aided flocculation indicated that they were of branched type, amylopectin. The paper attempts to explain the mechanism of sediments settling as aided by the plant juice components.
KEY WORDS: Turbid surface water treatment, Coagulation, Flocculation, Maerua subcordata plant, Amylopectin polysaccharide
Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2008, 22(1), 143-148.