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International Journal of Soil Science
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 1 - 16

Quality Characteristics of Soil Close to the Benin River in the Vicinity of a Lubricating Oil Producing Factory, Koko, Nigeria

S.O. Akporido and S.O. Asagba    

Abstract: Oil pollution is a topical issue in Nigeria and other parts of the world and this is especially so where oil prospecting and processing takes place because of its adverse effect on human and animal health. It became necessary to carry out an environmental audit of the soils of an area suspected of receiving oil pollutants from a lubricating oil factory , this is especially so when oily material are mixed with soil and this is visible. Soil samples were collected from five sampling stations and two control sampling stations (These were collected so as to act as background values with which comparison could be made). These were analyzed for heavy metals by flame absorption spectroscopy after digestion with 2 M HNO3, Total Organic Extract (TOE) and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) by gravimetric method after extraction with methanol followed by hexane and the physicochemical parameters by standard methods. Important results include average values of pH (5.86±0.32), TOE (56300±19000 mg kg-1), TPH (38700±12000 mg kg-1), Zn (562±510 mg kg-1), Pb (227±160 mg kg-1), Cr (total) (94.5±150 mg kg-1), Cd (2.0±2.9 mg kg-1), total organic carbon (2.83±0.56%) and sand (91.7±1.3%) in the study area. The average concentrations of the pollutant parameters with the exception of Pb were higher in the study area than in the control area. The average concentrations of Cd, Zn, Pb and Cr exceeded guideline values with which they were compared. The average concentrations of TPH in the sampling stations exceeded Environmental Guideline and Standards for the petroleum industry in Nigeria soil/sediment intervention value for mineral oil (5000 mg kg-1). The average pH of the sampling stations fell below guideline range of the Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines (SQGs) with which they were compared. The results confirmed that the soils of the study area are heavily polluted with petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals.

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