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PROJECT TOPIC- DETERMINATION OF HEAVY METALS IN WATER, SOIL, SEDIMENT AND TOTAL PETROLEUM HYDROCARBON IN SEDIMENT FROM AFIESERE RIVER, UGHELLI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE

PROJECT TOPIC- DETERMINATION OF HEAVY METALS IN WATER, SOIL, SEDIMENT AND TOTAL PETROLEUM HYDROCARBON IN SEDIMENT FROM AFIESERE RIVER, UGHELLI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE

 

ABSTRACT

Some physico-chemcial parameters of the water samples were measured, heavy metals in water, surface soil, sub-surface soil and sediment were
also analysed using flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). The hydrocarbon content using Gas chromatography was determined.
The results showed the mean values of pH, temperature, total dissolved solid, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, phosphate, nitrate, and sulphate as follows: 6.870.18, 27.400.28oC, 4.00 0.00 mg/l, 8.670.25 us, 4.230.08 mg/l, 0.650.17 mg/l, 0.01 0.00 mg/l, 0.010.3 mg/l, and 2.170.18 mg/l respectively. The concentration of Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu and Ni were as follows: in water, 0.060 mg/l, <0.002 mg/l, 0.461mg/l, <0.003mg/l and 3.506 mg/l; in sediment, 0.520mg/kg, <0.002mg/kg, 0.211mg/kg 0.070 mg/kg and 0.266 mg/kg; in surface soil, 0.500 mg/kg, <0.002mg/kg, 0.057 mg/kg, <0.003 mg/kg and 2.090 mg/kg, in sub-surface soil, 0.550 mg/kg, <0.003 mg/kg, 0.262 mg/kg, 0.059 mg/kg and 0.362 mg/kg. Analysis of the total petroleum hydrocarbons of the sediment revealed the presence of C12-C37 n-alkanes while the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons profile indicated that Benzo(b) fluoranthene, Dibenzo (a,h) anthracene, phenanthrene, fluorene and Fluoranthene were the major aromatic compounds present.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.1 Crude Oil Pollution:

Oil has been an important part of the Nigeria economy since vast reserves of petroleum were discovered in Nigeria in the 1960’s. For example,
revenues from oil have increased from 219 million naira in 1970 to 10.6 billion naira in 1979. Shell oil operates many of her oil facilities in the
oil-rich Delta region of Nigeria1. The Ogonis, an ethnic group that predominate in the Delta region, have protested that shell’s oil production
has not only devastated the local environment, but has also destroyed the economic viability of the region for local farmers and producers .

The
Nigerian Federal government on the other hand, has been charged with failing to enact and enforce environmental protection laws against oil
spillage by shell and other oil companies. Furthermore, many Ogonis have been harassed and even killed by the federal government for organizing protests and threatening sabotage of oil facilities. Oil production in Nigeria has had severe environmental and human consequences for the indigenous peoples who inhabit the areas surrounding oil extraction Nigeria’s export of 12 million barrels of oil a day comes from 12% of the country’s land, and indigenous minority communities in these areas receive no economic benefits. Indigenous groups are actually further impoverished due to environmental degradation from oil production and the lack of adequate regulations on multinational companies, as they become more vulnerable to food shortages, health hazards, loss of land, pollution, forced migration and unemployment.
The social and environmental costs of oil production have been extensive.
They include destruction of wildlife and biodiversity, loss of soil fertility, pollution of air and drinking water, degradation of farmland and damage
to aquatic ecosystems, all of which have caused serious health problems for the inhabitants of areas surrounding oil production. Pollution is
caused by gas flaring, above ground pipeline leakage, oil waste dumping and oil spills.

PROJECT TOPIC- DETERMINATION OF HEAVY METALS IN WATER, SOIL, SEDIMENT AND TOTAL PETROLEUM HYDROCARBON IN SEDIMENT FROM AFIESERE RIVER, UGHELLI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE

Approximately 75% of gas produced is flared annually causing considerable ecological and physical damage to other resources such as
land/soil, water and vegetation2. Gas flares, which are often times situated close to villages, produce soot which is deposited on building
roofs of neighbouring villages. Whenever it rains, the soot is washed off and the black ink-like water running from the roofs is believed to contain
chemicals which adversely affect the fertility of the soil. Gas pipelines have also caused irreparable damage to lands once used for agricultural
purposes. These pipes should be buried to reduce risk of fracture and spillage. However, they are often laid above ground and run directly
through villages, where oil leaks have rendered the land economically useless.
Oil spills and the dumping of oil into waterways have been extensive, often poisoning drinking water and destroying vegetation. According to
an independent record of shell’s spills from 1982 to 1992, 1,626,000 gallons of oil were spilt from the company’s Nigeria operations in 27 separate incidences. Of the number of spills recorded from shell- a company which operates in more than 100 countries -40% were in Nigeria.
Shell is also being accused of engaging in widespread ecological disturbances, including explosions from seismic surveys, pollution from
pipe-line leaks, blowouts, drilling fluids and refinery effluents, and land alienation and disruption of the natural terrain from construction of
industry infrastructure and installation.

For example, oil spill contamination of the top soil has rendered the soil in the surrounding areas unsuitable for plant growth by reducing the availability of nutrients or by increasing toxic contents in the soil. Gas flaring on the other hand has been associated with reduced crop yield and plant growth on nearby farms and disruption of wildlife in the immediate vicinity.
Oil companies have developed an easy and inexpensive way to deal with by-products from oil drilling that is indiscriminate dumping 6.
Oil industries activities include but not limited to: 1.Exploration( i.e oil and gas deposits) 2. Drilling 3.Production of oil and gas. Transportation of crude (by pipelines, loading terminals). Transportation by tankers-crude and products. 6. Storage of crude oil and products. Petroleum refining processes 8. Flaring of natural gas in developing countries. Each of the above activities has its own degree of environmental pollution, however the ones that have generated tremendous heat or crisis especially in the Niger-delta areas are pollution arising from crude oil spillage and natural gas flaring.
For the purpose of this study, attention will be focused on the effects of crude oil pollution on soil, sediment and water. Crude oil-related
operations are the most obvious industrial activities in the Niger Delta. Oil may be released into the environment of the delta in connection with
the separation of oil and water either at installations in the delta or at the coastal terminals.
Crude oil spillage is one major means of environmental pollution in oil and gas producing areas. It has far reaching effects in the soil and water
where it distorts their structures and affects the biota. Since 1976, about 5,334 case of crude oil spillage releasing an estimated 2.8 million barrels
of oil into the land, swamps, estuaries and coastal waters have been reported in Nigeria9. It is noteworthy that the devastating consequences of
spill of crude oil with its eventual hazards to both aerial and terrestrial environs is tantamount to irreversible chain effect on both bio-diversity
and human safety 9. An oil spill which is a release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity is a form of pollution.
The term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters. Oil spills include release of crude oil from
tankers offshore platforms, or on-shore platforms, pipelines etc directly on the land.
Anthropogenic activities have represented a growing environmental problem affecting food quality and human health in the Niger Delta
region of Nigeria. Nigeria as a major producer and exporter of crude petroleum oil continues to experience oil spills and this exposes the
environment to hazards and its attendant effects on agricultural lands as well as on plant growth and development. Cases of oil pollution have
been reported in many areas and these pollutants contains a lot of chemical compounds that are hazardous among them are the heavy metals
and hydrocarbons. Heavy metals may have significant toxic and hazardous effects on human health, especially cadmium and lead which are contained in crude oil 12. Heavy metal contamination affects the bio-sphere in many ways worldwide.  Certain plants do not only accumulate metals in the roots
but also more by capillary action from roots to the leaves or shoots. Toxic metal pollution of waters and soils is a major environmental problem and most conventional remediation approaches do not provide acceptable solutions.
Total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) is released to the environment through accidents, as releases from industries, or as byproducts from commercial or private uses. When TPH is released directly to water through spills or leaks, certain TPH fractions will float in water and form thin surface films. Other heavier fractions will accumulate in the sediment at the bottom of the water, which may affect bottom –feeding fish and organisms. Some organisms found in the water (primarily bacteria and fungi) may break down some of the TPH fractions.

TPH released to the soil may move through the soil to the groundwater. Individual compounds may then separate from the original mixture, depending on the chemical properties of the compound. Some of these compounds will evaporate into the air and others will dissolve into the groundwater and move away from the released area. Other compounds will attach to particles in the soil and may stay in the soil for a long period of time, while others will be broken down by organisms found in the soil 16. Crude oil pollution is a regular occurrence in oil producing areas and it has adverse environmental conditions hence the objective of the study is to determine some heavy metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons in crude oil polluted water, soil and sediments.

1.2.0 HEAVY METALS

PROJECT TOPIC- DETERMINATION OF HEAVY METALS IN WATER, SOIL, SEDIMENT AND TOTAL PETROLEUM HYDROCARBON IN SEDIMENT FROM AFIESERE RIVER, UGHELLI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE

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