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Water Res. 2013 Sep 15;47(14):4957-65. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2013.05.033. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Submicron capsules extracted from rapeseed as novel flocculant agents for the treatment of turbid water.

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School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland.


Flocculation is an important step in water treatment as it is responsible for the separation of suspended solids and colloids. The currently used flocculants have certain limitations with respect to environmental impact and disposal as well as potentially being harmful to human health, which has encouraged the study of natural flocculants originating from oleaginous plants. Oil-bodies are individual small organelles in which oleaginous seeds store triacylglycerols reserves. In this article, the flocculant properties of oil-bodies have been investigated. Oil-bodies flocculate at pH 5, 7 and 9 and high ionic strength (100 mM NaCl) and it was demonstrated that their intact structure is necessary for the flocculation activity as treatment with protease K and diethyl ether, that remove the protein coat and the oil-core, respectively, dramatically decreased the flocculation activity. This study shows that oil-bodies have the potential to be novel, natural, sustainable, environmentally friendly and biodegradable flocculant candidates for water treatment.


Coagulation and flocculation; Oil-bodies; Rapeseed; Submicron capsules; Water treatment

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