Moringa oleifera - also known as the miracle tree
Moringa trees are known as "miracle" trees because of their many uses as food and as a source of oil. Seeds from the trees are also used to purify water. The special properties of the protein in the seeds have been studied by a group from Uppsala University in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Namibia, Windhoek, and the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France. Results published in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science suggest that Moringa seeds could be used for separation of different materials - besides removal of all impurities. These types of separation processes are, for instance, of huge interest within the mining industry, to remove valuable material from waste. This type of application of a natural product would reduce the needs for expensive synthetic chemicals.
For more information, see the news article "New, useful feature of Moringa seeds revealed" and the full scientific article "Interaction of Moringa oleifera seed protein with a mineral surface and the influence of surfactants" in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol. 448, 15 June 2015, Pages 339-346.
Video: "The chemistry behind the miracle tree"
An interview with researcher Maja Hellsing about the research regarding the Moringa tree (in Swedish):