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Pulverized Leaves of Imperata cylindrica as Potential Bio-coagulant

A Research Proposal

Presented to the Faculty of Palawan State University

Laboratory Senior High School

Puerto Princesa City

In Partial Fulfillment

Of the Requirements for 1st Quarter

A.Y 2019-2020





September 2019

The researchers of this study would like to extend their sincerest gratitude and warm

appreciation to the following persons who had contributed and helped the researchers shape and

reshape their valuable piece of work. This study would not have been possible without the support

of these people.

First and foremost, to Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, for providing us wisdom,

knowledge and strength as we conduct our research and for guiding us from the beginning unto

the end of our research.

Google Scholar, for providing us research articles or literatures that we, researchers, could

use as a basis and guide for our paper.

Family, for supporting us financially and emotionally as we conduct our research and

reminding us not to skip our meals.



A. Background of the Study

Water is essential in human’s life. Water has to be purified otherwise bacteria in it can be

harmful to use or drink. Every day, many people die due to contaminated water that contains a lot

of bacteria that cause infection and illness. In all countries, water is considered valuable to maintain

its purity and it must go through several processes such as reverse osmosis which is quite


Natural coagulants have been increasingly popular in the past few years due to its benefits

and the fact that it resolves most of the associated problems when using chemical coagulants.

Plant-based natural coagulants perform coagulation either by polymer bridging or charge

neutralization, it can be extracted from various plant components. Concerted research and

development efforts have been conducted in discovering new plant species and constituents that

can be used as natural coagulants, which further boosting the effectiveness of existing plant-based

natural coagulants.

Coagulation is one of the most common ways to reduce the pollutant contents in the water

body that are present as turbidity, color and organic matters. Coagulation is also used to reduce the

metal ion content in water. Separation of these colloids can be done by the addition of synthetic

coagulant or bio-coagulant followed by slow agitation (flocculation) that causes coagulation of

colloidal particles so they can be separated by sedimentation.

Weeds, especially the Cogon Grass grows all around the world, including the country of

the Philippines. Imperata cylindrica, or Cogon grass is known for its massive spread over large
areas of the subtropics. It is especially seen in low sub tropic areas such as Valley Golf and Country

Club in Manila. This weed type has been here for decades and adapts well to its sustainable tropical


Cogon Grass grows all around the world, including Philippines. And also we noticed that

here in Palawan especially at the City in the Forest, its massive spread anywhere especially in

agricultural lands. It is considered a weed or a pest since it just spread over large areas of the

subtropics. So we really want to conduct this study in order to turn Cogon grass from being a pest

into a product of usefulness and help the community. In some remote areas, cogon grass is


However, there are cheaper ways on purifying water that wouldn’t even cost you money.

The extract or powder of the Imperata cylindrica or commonly known as Cogon grass in the

Philippines, will be conducted by the researchers. The researchers would like to provide or invent

something that not cost a lot of money and will truly help people to live healthy just by water

clarification and developing purified water in remote areas through the bio-coagulant compounds

from Imperata Cylindrica. This study aims to determine whether Imperata cylindrica can be used

in water purification.

B. Objective of the Study

The objective of this study is to assess the feasibility of cogon grass as natural coagulant

for reduction of turbidity and as an alternative for other natural coagulants in current coagulation

processes. The following are also the objectives of this study:

To investigate the properties of Imperata cylindrica as bio-coagualant

To identify factors that affect the feasibility of Imperata cylindrica in coagulation


C. Statement of the Problem

1. What are the properties of cogon grass (in terms of antibacterial activity)?

2. How efficient is the cogon grass in removal or reduction of turbidity?

a. Duration of reducing turbidity of water

b. The removal of bacteria

c. The color of the water

3. What are the components or chemical compositions of Imperata cylindrica that shows

ability to reduce turbidity, and removal of bacteria and color of the water?

4. How long will bio-coagulant can reduce the turbidity of water using Imperata


D. Significance of the Study

This study aims to reduce the level of turbidity and contaminants of water using Imperata

cylindrica. We, the researchers, would like to conduct this study to make an easier water treatment

and environmental friendly for residential areas especially in remote areas that is most commonly

suffering from diseases, infection, and illness due to contaminated water.

The result of the study will benefit the following:

The Students

This will help them realize whether the knowledge and methods developed in this process

that would be useful to them in conducting new research study. It will also encourage them to
appreciate the alternative way on purifiying water or water treatment .This will help them to have

insights about the current status of natural coagulation process in our society.

The Community

The direct reipients of the output of this research is the community especially in remote

area that lack of water supply. Improvement of natural coagulation process using Imperata

cylindrica is needed for producing clean water in order to survive and thrive in the society.

The Future Researchers

The idea presented may be used as reference data in conductiong new researches or in

testing the validity of other related findings. This study will also serve as their cross-reference that

will give them further background or an overview regarding the coagulation process or turbidity


E. Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study focused on the efficiency on reduction of turbidity by using Imperata cylindrical

as a potential bio-coagulant.

This study requires further extensive studies for the improvement and implementation of

coagulation process using natural material for water treatment. It contains analytical exploration,

development and trends in this field, and the issues it raises.




Presenting the review of literature has become one of the necessary part of the research.

Best (1977) even quoted, “familiarity with the literature in any problem area helps the student to

discover what is already known, what others have attempted to found out, what method of

approach have been promising or disappointing and what problems remain to be solved”. As

stated, the student investigator of this study find and study the recent researches regarding and

related to the topic that is under investigation by the researchers and other scholars.

This chapter contains the synthesis of the researches that supports the credibility and

effectiveness of Imperata Cylindrica as a natural coagulant to reduce the turbidity of raw water.
Included are the literature review of recent studies regarding other natural coagulants to study the

process and their similar content to cogon grass that reduce the turbidity of the water.

This literature review is intended to support the claims of the efficacy of Imperata

cylindrica and to show the credibility of the study.

Waste Water Treatment by Coagulation and Flocculation

Groundwater and surface water contain both dissolved and suspended particles (N.B.

Prakash et al., 2014). These particles such as source, charge, particle size, shape, and density are

the factors that affect the correct application of coagulation and flocculation. Unless proper

coagulation and flocculation is used, suspended solids will remain in suspension. These processes

occur in a systematic way. Once one process is incomplete, all following steps will be

unsuccessful. Coagulant chemicals with charges opposite to the suspended solid are added to

neutralize the water so that the small suspended particles can stick together, these larger particles

are called microflocs. Water with these newly formed microflocs should be clear or else, more

chemicall coagulants should be added. Wastewaters often contain pollutants producing turbidity

so coagulation/flocculation is used in the removal of turbidity from the water. Aside from the

removal of water’s turbidity, coagulation is beneficial in other ways such as the removal of bacteria

and the color of the water. The most commonly used chemical in coagulation is aluminum sulfate

(alum) and was found to be more effective for reaching the removal percentage up to 98.9% under

operational conditions; however, researches regarding plant-based coagulant has been discovered

and investigated.

Effectiveness of Imperata Cylindrica (Cogon Grass) as an Antibacterial

Imperata cylindrica or cogon grass, a perrenial, rhizomatous grass, has been claimed to be

an antibacterial plant but had no scientific screening. In the study of V. Parkavi, M. Vignesh, K.

Selvakumar, J. Muthu Mohamed, and J. Joysa Ruby (2012), Imperata cylindrica has been tested

to prove the folklore claim by performing various tests of its antibacterial activity using cup and

plate method. To perform and determine the antibacterial activity of Imperata cylindrica,

undergoes various processes first. After it was dried and powdered, it was extracted with 300 mL

of purified water (aqueous solution) and 300 mL of ethanol (ethanol solution) by using cold

maceration for 7 days. The compounds were tested against Gram positive and negative bacteria,

Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The study shows that Imperata cylindrica is more

effective against the two bacteria with aqueous solution and that it produced the maximum zone

of inhibition compared to ethanol extract. In the conclusion of the study, Imperata cylindrica has

the antibacterial activity and is effective inhibiting microbial growth as well. The study specifically

proves that cogon grass has the antibacterial content and therefore, can be used as an antibacterial

treatment to water since it is more effective in aqueous solution than other compounds and it has

an observable antibacterial property on water.

Acute and Subchronic Toxicity Study of the Water Extract from Root of Imperata

Cylindrica (Linn.) Raeusch. in Rat

Imperata cylindrica has been considered as 10 of the worst weed in the world (S.

Chunlaratthanaphorn et al., 2007). It has also been used as anti-inflammatory or antipyretic agent

in the Korean traditional herb medicine (Park, 2004). At the study of Sripanidkulchai et al. (2001),

it was reported that the water extract from the root of Imperata cylindrica caused urination in rats

so S. Chunlaratthanaphorn et al., decided to study the acute and subchronic toxicities of the water

extract of I. cylindrica. Single dose of root extract was administered orally to female and male rats
in 5:5 ratio with 5,000 mg/kg each. Signs and behavioral changes, mortality, gross and

histopathological changes of internal organs were examined after 14 days. The observation

produced no signs of toxicity. The result of the study shows that no acute and subchronic toxicities

are caused by Imperata cylindrica.

Some phytochemical analyses of different extracts of the cogon grass Imperata cylindrica

from Mizoram, India

Cogon grass’ rhizome-root part serves as traditional medicine in different Southeast Asian

countries. Phenolic derivatives and flavonoids natural compounds in plant’s life such as growth,

reproduction, and defense mechanism. Cogon grass’ flavonoid and phenol content was tested in

the study of P.B. Lalthanpuii, Zarzokimi, and K. Lalchhandama (2018) of Department of Life

Sciences (Zoology), Pachhunga University College, Mizoram University, Aizawl 796001,

Mizoram, India. Imperata cylindrica (cogon grass) undergoes series of hot extraction using

solvents of different polarities such as chloroform, methanol, and petroleum ether. Using quercetin

as standard reference, the flavonoid content of each extracts was determined based on their reaction

with aluminum chloride, sodium nitrite, and sodium hydroxide. As a result, chloroform extract had

the highest value of total flavonoid. The presented study shows that Imperata cylindrica is a good

source of antioxidant and is seen as a potential lead to pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement

development. Thus, further investigation and discussion about I. cylindrica’s pharmaceutical

properties is recommended.

Proteins from Natural Coagulant for Potential Application of Turbidity Removal in Water

Coagulation-flocculation process that is applied in wastewater treatment is the most

common process aside from sedimentation and filtration. In recent years, development of new
coagulants has been the high interest and the discovery of plant-based and other methods of organic

coagulants are investigated. Variety of plants has been put to test the efficacy in removing the

turbidity of the water and among the plants that was studied, Moringa oleifera receives the highest

degree of attention. Alongside with two other plant seed, Moringa oleifera are found out to be non-

toxic, low-cost, and effective coagulant aids. The present investigation studied the ability of the

different concentration of coagulant in jar test method, the effect of settling column test, effect of

time, effect of pH, the effect of defatted crude oil extract, comparison of coagulant in alum and

natural coagulant, the surface morphology structure of dried seed powder and combined coagulant

in seed powder and wastewater were studied and reported (G. Muthuraman et al., 2013). The study

concluded that natural coagulants are useful in treating the turbidity of the water.



1.1. Use of Acorn Leaves as a Natural Coagulant in a Drinking Water Treatment Plant

Water is a crucial part of life and no one can live without it. The conflict about the

impurities of water requires high quality treatment but it costs a lot so different studies arise to test

different organic materials that can be used as a natural coagulant. The study aims to produce low-

cost, harmless and environmental friendly bio-coagulant product that is as high-performing as the

costly and chemical ones. A lot of organic material have been tested. Abderrezzaq Benalia, In a

recent study, Kerroum Derbal, Antonio Panico, and Francesco Pirozzi (2018) performed an

investigation about acorn leaves as a natural coagulant and its effectiveness in reducing the

turbidity of water. Acorn leaves was processed into a fine powder to improve the coagulant activity

and reduction of turbidity effectiveness and it was treated with different solvents (distilled water;

solutions of NaCl (0.25; 0.5 and 1 M); solutions of NaOH (0.025; 0.05 and 0.1 M); and solutions
of HCl (0.025; 0.05 and 0.1 M) to extract coagulant agents. Standard titrimetric method was used

to determine the content of organic matter and total alkalinity hardness. Standard jar test assay was

used to evaluate the performance of the coagulant in different operational conditions. The

investigative study shows an interesting result as all the extracting solutions used remarkably

achieved close to 90% removal efficiency. Even though the results show the effectiveness of the

natural coagulant, the researchers emphasis the possible worsening of water quality by increasing

the organic content caused the high dosage of the materials used. The study shows that some

solvents or solutions used to be mixed with the natural coagulant can increase the effectiveness of

reducing the water turbidity but it can worsen the waters quality as well to the point of crossing

the threshold fixed by the national regulation for drinking water.

1.2. Water Purification and Antibacterial Efficacy of Moringa Oleifera Lam

According to Elizabeth Dowdeswell, when she was still the executive director of the United

Nation Environment Program, about 80% of all diseases are caused by contaminated water, which

is actually more than one-third of all deaths in developing countries. This fact increases the

community’s concern to produce an adequate solution and sanitation for the water’s purification.

A study conducted by B. Bina, M. H. Mehdinejad, M. Nikaeen, and H. Movahedian Attar during

January and February of the year 2015, from the Angereb and Shinta rivers, Gondar, Ethiopia aims

to facilitate an investigation about the effectiveness of Moringa oleifera in water purification and

its efficacy as an antibacterial. The study aims to produce a product that would benefit the

community of Ethiopia who cannot afford costly water treatment and even an access to a clean

and safe drinking water. Moringa oleifera was treated in varying conditions. For the testing of its

effectiveness in purification, varying concentrations of M. oleifera seed powder and positive and

negative control (aluminum sulfate and no seed powder) were tested respectively. Futhermore, for
the antibacterial test, varying concentrations of M. oleifera seed extract with different solvents and

cifrofloxacin were tested. Raw water used in testing are contained from the rivers of Angereb and

Shinta, Ethiopia. Both water samples undergo various process and were subjected to

bacteriological analysis after treatment. The investigation shows that the acetone extract of M.

oleifera is effective as an antibacterial compound against pathogen and is also capable of treating

infectious disease caused by microbes. Since the study of M. oleifera seed has shown efficacy,

further investigations and studies about its content and active elements are suggested.

1.3. Extraction of Natural Coagulant from Peanut Seeds for Treatment of Turbid Water

Flocculation/coagulation are commonly used to remove the turbidity of the water by using

chemicals, most commonly aluminum and iron salts. The use of this chemical can greatly help in

treating turbid water but the cost of these highly imported chemical have been serious concern

especially of the developing countries. In recent years, the interest in developing a low-cost,

environmental friendly and natural water treatment arise. A study to investigate the potential of

peanut seeds as a natural coagulant for treating turbid water was performed by A. H. Birima, H.

A. Hammad, M. N. M. Desa, and Z. C. Muda at Centre for Storm water and Geohazard

Management, University Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia (2013). The process starts by removing

peanut shells and collecting the kernels inside before crushing it into powder. The powdered peanut

shell undergoes oil extraction and then tested with different concentration type of salt solution

(NaCl, KNO3, KCl, NH4Cl and NaNO3). Coagulation tests were carried out using jar test method.

The study discover that addition of salt solution can enhance the breaking of protein associations

that leads to increase in protein solubility. Coagulation activity of the peanut seed is possible

because of the protein associations inside the peanut seed. Hence, it was concluded that peanut

seed is effective as a natural coagulant for turbid water reaching 93.2% in turbidity removal.
1.4. Water Melon Seed as a Potential Coagulant for Water Treatment

Coagulation process is used to destabilize suspended particles and to react with organic

materials in the raw water (I.M. Muhammad et al., 2019). As the problems regarding adequate

supply of clean water rise as well as the cost of high quality water treatment, researches about low-

cost and natural coagulant has been the interest of the community, especially the developing

countries. Number of studies have been performed and recently, a study by I.M. Muhammad, S.

Abdulsalam, A. Abdulkarim, and A.A. Bello (2015) at Bauchi, Nigeria focused at investigating

water melon seed. The study’s main purpose is to determine the potential of water melon seed as

natural coagulant as well as the characteristic of its protein extract. The process starts by preparing

the fresh seeds of water melon and collecting raw water samples. The water quality was tested

before and after the treatment using turbidimeter. The characteristics of water such as its pH and

colour was carried out as well. After the water was treated, it was tested using jar test method. The

tests show that water melon seed is 89% efficient but can be more effective with 20% of alum as

a coagulant aid. However, the researchers still recommend further investigation on; efficacy of

water melon seed and alum as coagulant aid in pilot scale water treatment; water melon seed

powder as a coagulant and its potential coagulation abilities.

1.5. Use of Cactus Opuntia as a Natural Coagulant: Water Treatment in Developing


The hazard of using inorganic materials in treating water has been one of the community’s

main concern aside from its high cost. Researchers are highly interested in developing new

methods and materials to treat water (B. Nozela, 2019). Recently, number of discovered natural

coagulants increased. Just this March 2017, a study published at UNEP- Tongji Institute of

Environment for Sustainable Development, College of Environmental Science and Engineering,

Tongji University Shanghai. 20092, China, by Ayub Karanja, Li Fengting, and Wilson Ng’ang’a

sought to explore the possibility of cactus as a natural coagulant. Synthetic inorganic chemicals

such as alum and ferric chloride are the traditional chemicals used in coagulation and flocculation

(Nilsen et al., 2005) but chemical coagulants raise an environmental, high-cost, and health risk

issues that lead to the researchers perform such study. The study seeks extensive literature review

to collect data regarding the need, use, and effectiveness of cactus as a natural coagulant. As the

study explore the promises of cactus, the study establishes that cactus has been found to be

effective in removing the turbidity of the water. However, there is no consensus regarding its

effectivity over a wide range of pH values.


Following are the objective of the study:

1. To find out the contents of Imperata cylindrica that can be of help in turbidity removal;

2. To find out if Imperata cylindrica can be used safely as natural coagulant;

3. To study the process of other finished studies regarding natural coagulant.

Percentage of

Water turbidity Water pH Coagulant dose Extract density
extract solvent


Coagulant extract Factors in efficacy of RESULT

agents turbidity removal
•distilled water •Water turbidity •REMOVAL
•solutions of NaCl •Water pH PERCENTAGE OF
(salt-water) •Coagulant dose THE TURBIDITY OF
•solutions of NaOH WATER
•Extract density
(sodium hydroxide)
•solutions of HCl
(hydrochloric acid)


As shown in the literature reviews, we can conclude that Imperata cylindrica is efficient in

turbidity removal as a natural coagulant. The recent studies show that Imperata cylindrica is a

good antibacterial and is also subjected for pharmaceutical studies. These facts support the claim

that Imperata cylindrica is not just good in turbidity removal but is also good as herbal medicine.

Water treatment – is a process where water is improved into its high quality to make it clean and

safe for any use.

Coagulant-flocculation – is a technique wherein chemical water’s treatment process can enhance

its ability to remove particles.

Turbidity – is the cloudiness or muddiness property of the water caused by individual particles that

cannot be seen by naked eye.

Solvent – it is the liquid substance in which a solute is dissolved to form a solution.

Antibacterial – is a group of materials that is in charge in fighting the growth and reproduction of




3.1 Introduction
Imperata Cylindrica or also known as Cogon grass is an example for water purification.

Water is essential in human’s life. Water has to be purified otherwise bacteria in it can be

harmful to use or drink.

3.2 Method

Experimental is the method used in conducting this study. The researchers created a

sample to know whether this study is possible or not. The sample created by the researchers’

used to validate the statement of the problem.

3.3 Purpose and Objective

“Clean Water should be a Necessity.” On this research, the researchers will conduct this

study to determine the effectiveness of Imperata Cylindrica in purifying water. This study aims

whether Cogon grass can be used in water purification.

3.4 Materials

Preparation of Cogon grass leaves

The Cogon grass leaves used in this study were collected from Puerto Princesa City. The leaves

were cleaned in a container of water with rock salt in order to dehydrate the leaves and after that

it was placed outside for drying, in preparation of pulverizing the leaves. The present materials

were needed on this experiment needs to be extracted.

Extraction of Cogon grass leaves

However, the total essential extract of Cogon grass aerial parts was active. (A.Cerdeira et. Al,


Preparation of Cogon grass leaves extraction

A series of extracts of the underground (rhizome-root) parts was prepared by hot extraction

using solvents of different polarities such as chloroform, methanol, and petroleum

ether.(Rӓuschel) The leaves were cleaned in a container of water with rock salt in order to

dehydrate the leaves and after that it was placed outside for drying, in preparation of pulverizing

the leaves.

Preparation of Natural Coagulant

A lot of studies that indigenous plants have efficiency as a bio-coagulant. Dried Moringa oleifer,

Acorn leaves, and Papaya seeds are one of those researches related in this study. Dried

pulverized leaves of Imperata cylindrica were analyzed and observed the possible active

coagulant component in it.

Coagulation Tests

Waste water or turbid water was prepared by adding pulverized leaves of Imperata cylindrica

into the 1L of contaminated water. Coagulation process is being tested to the water for


Republic of the Philippines

Puerto Princesa City

Name: Ma. Loisa Angela P. Cabasag
Strand: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Year: 2019-2020
Student ID No.: 2016-SHS-2020
Contact No.: 09669728660

Date of Birth: March 15, 2001

Place of Birth: Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Age: 18
Permanent Address: Gumamela V, Bgy. Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Civil Status: Single
Citizenship: Filipino
Religion: Roman Catholic
Father: Edwin V. Cabasag
Occupation: Private Employee
Mother: Marygine P. Cabasag
Occupation: Government Employee
Sibling/s: Edwin Jade P. Cabasag

Elementary: Puerto Princesa Pilot Elementary School
Junior High School: Puerto Princesa City National Science High School
Senior High School: Palawan State University