Gobal Advanced Research Journal of Environmental Science and Toxicology (GARJEST) ISSN: 2315-5140
September 2012 Vol. 1(6), pp. 152-161
Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Quantitative evaluation of the spatial distribution and penetration of liquid hydrocarbons in petroleum spilled soil

Imeh J. Okop*, Fiokedu S. Okorie and Clement O. Obadimu

Department of Chemistry, Akwa Ibom State University, Mkpat Enin, P.M.B. 1167, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

*Correspondence    Author     E-mail:    imehokop@yahoo.com

Accepted 15 September, 2012


Petroleum spillage contamination of soil was investigated about 38 days after an extensive oil spillage in South –South Niger Delta. Soil samples and controls were collected at depths of 0-15 cm, 15-30 cm and 30-60 cm. Samples were analysed using gas chromatography fitted with a flame ionisation detector. Penetration and migration of C5-C9, C10-C26 and C26-C40 hydrocarbons through the soil layers were assessed to determine the spatial distribution, penetration and similarity of these compounds over the contaminated area. The results also indicated elevated levels of total hydrocarbon contents in the soil when compared with the reference sites. The total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations levels varied from 9-289 ±3 mg kg-1 topsoil, 11-413±7 mg kg-1 subsoil and 13-178±11 mg kg-1 at the greatest depth measured. This paper provides informative guidelines for effective remediation processes, careful monitoring and the need to conduct more post-spill studies by competent remediation professionals.

Keywords: Petroleum spills, Total Hydrocarbon, soil contamination, remediation and gas chromatography fitted with flame ionisation detector (GC-FID).


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