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Biochemical and Physical Characterization of Diesel Oil Contaminated Soil in Southeastern Nigeria

Author Affiliations

    Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 1, Issue (8), Pages 57-62, November,18 (2011)


    The biochemical and physical characteristics of diesel oil contaminated soil were studied. The total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations were 46726.80 mg/kg and 844.40 mg/kg respectively for the diesel contaminated soil and 2.90 mg/kg and <0.001mg/kg for the control. The contamination increased the soil acidity, soil organic carbon, %Nitrogen and % silt to 5.9, 2.34 mg/kg, 0.202 mg/kg, 3.00 respectively compared to 6.7, 1.07 mg/kg, 0.092 mg/kg and 2.00 respectively in the control. The contamination also increased the concentration of heavy metals like Cadmium 0.25 mg/kg, iron 6311 mg/kg and lead 1.67 mg/kg against the uncontaminated soil with Cd 0.10 mg/kg, Cu 1.83 mg/kg, and Pb 1.22 mg/kg. Variation in individual concentrations of macro- and micronutrients in the contaminated and control soil samples was observed but did not affect the overall soil conductivity. The microbial growth rate expressed as colony forming units for bacteria and fungi were 1.3 x 109 cfu/g and 3.0 x 106 cfu/g respectively for the contaminated and 4.6 x 1009 cfu/g and 4.0 x 106 cfu/g for the uncontaminated soil respectively. These changes created by diesel contamination resulted in the reduction in the pH and microbial biomass. These adverse changes could affect nutrient cycle, impede nutrient uptake by plant roots and subsequently lead to reduction in crop yield.


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