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    Defluoridating Drinking Water Using Medicinal Herbs
    By News Staff | March 6th 2013 10:17 AM | 7 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Fluoride is good but too much of anything can be bad. However, a filter system developed in India using a medicinal herb is very, very good.

    The technology uses parts of the plant Tridax procumbens as a biocarbon filter for the ion.

    Drinking water can contain natural fluoride or fluoride might be added as a protective agent for teeth by water companies. In some natural drinking water, levels may be above those considered safe by the World Health Organisation. Chemist Malairajan Singanan of the Presidency College (Autonomous), in Chennai, points out that the WHO guidelines suggest that a safe level of fluoride is 1.5 milligrams per liter. He adds that various techniques to reduce fluoride content have been tried including coagulation, adsorption, precipitation, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and electrodialysis. However, metal ions with an affinity for fluoride in a biocarbon matrix represent a promising new approach.

    Singanan investigated Tridax procumbens, which is commonly used as a medicinal herb in India, as a biocarbon absorbent for fluoride. Previously, the plant has been tested in the extraction of toxic heavy metals from water. He explains that by loading up plant tissue with aluminum ions it is possible create a safe biocarbon filter that will readily absorb fluoride ions from water warmed to around 27 Celsius passing through the filter.

    His trials show that it takes just three hours to remove 98% of fluoride with just 2 grams of the biocarbon filter.

    The biocarbon filter might provide an inexpensive way to defluoridate water in regions where the natural level of this mineral is high in ground water, including India, China, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Spain, Holland, Italy, Mexico, North and South America.

    It might also be adapted for those consumers who wish to reduce their exposure to fluoride, despite its benefits, in parts of the world where it is added to the water supply for public health reasons.


    Published in the International Journal of Environmental Engineering.


    Comments

    rholley
    And here is the plant itself.



    Tridax procumbens (Coat Buttons) is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family. It is best known as a widespread weed and pest plant. It is native to the tropical Americas but it has been introduced to tropical, subtropical, and mild temperate regions worldwide. It is listed as a noxious weed in the United States and has pest status in nine states.

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Wow, lovely photo Robert, it just goes to show that 'weeds' have many uses. Hopefully we won't be able to exterminate them all one day with our GM technology, sprays, habitat destruction or whatever, along with so many other less resilient, potentially very useful  plants that are now extinct, simply because we did destroy them and their habitats.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    UvaE
     it just goes to show that 'weeds' have many uses. 
    Another reminder that the term weed is very subjective. And I'm also reminded by looking at Robert's picture that we are not looking at a single flower. Those white petals are surrounding an inflorescence of many flowers at various stages of development. Here's a closer look:

    Gerhard Adam
    OMG ... it's a Fibonacci sequence ... :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    There's a trend in Australia lately to eat edible flowers, they look so pretty in a salad and some even taste pretty good. Pansies are my favorite and they were when I was child. When I was about 3 or 4 years old one of our neighbour's, a very kind old man, had a beautiful rock garden covered in pansies of every shape size and form and he used to let me just wander around picking them whenever I wanted to. Its a good job no one told me they were edible back then otherwise his garden might have ended up looking like a locust plague had been through ;)


    Above is a photo of 'smiling pansies' one of my favorites.



    And here is a Chelsea flower show display of pansies grown by A B LONGDEN ( from Flickr member Dryasdingo) Aren't they beautiful? 

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    rholley
    Helen,

    I remember my mother once grew a packet of Jumbo Pansies, with faces she called “Bearded Prophets”.

    Impressed on my memory are two flowers on separate plants growing next to each other.  One was looking very worried, while the other was either trying to give some friendly connection, or simply to cheer up his depressed friend.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
     
    I remember my mother once grew a packet of Jumbo Pansies, with faces she called “Bearded Prophets”. Impressed on my memory are two flowers on separate plants growing next to each other.  One was looking very worried, while the other was either trying to give some friendly connection, or simply to cheer up his depressed friend
    That's what  I do for a living Robert, maybe they should have ben called  counsellor and client pansies?
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine