Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Niger Delta soil: contamination sources and profiles

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Abstract

The distribution and sources of PAHs in soil as well as PAHs profiles have been investigated in areas with anthropogenic pollution in the Niger Delta (Nigeria) such as Warri and Ughelli. PAHs were identified in 21 soil samples (0- 10cm upper layer) collected in May, 2003. The typical total PAHs level in Niger Delta soil ranged from 182 ± 112 – to - 433 ±256 ìg/kg dw. PAH concentrations in soil samples from Warri Refinery, Tanker Loading point and Ugboko via Rapele oil field were quite high ( the mean ÓPAH concentrations were 433, 402 and 384 ìg/kg dry weight respectively). The dominant PAHs in soil samples were pyrene, naphthalene and benzo[k]fluoranthene. The soil total PAHs (PAHtot.) concentration, normalized to organic carbon content (OC), ranged from 11.4 to 47.2 mg PAHtot./kg OC; and showed that organic matter of the soil samples from Quality Control Centre, Ugelli West is highly contaminated with PAHs and had a value of 47.2 ± 31.2 mg PAHtot./kg OC. Two and three ring aromatic hydrocarbons predominated in soil samples from Ughelli West , Tanker Loading point and Delta Steel Company, which is indicative of petrogenic origin.

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