Determination Of The Concentration Levels Of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) In Soils Found In Automobile Shop

Project and Seminar Material for Chemical Engineering

Determination Of The Concentration Levels Of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) In Soils Found In Automobile Shop

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of Study

Petroleum hydrocarbons are used generally in our environment as fuel and chemicalcompounds. The uncontrolled release of petroleum hydrocarbons negatively impacts many of our soi1 and water resources. The contamination can result from leaking Underground Storage Tanks (UST), petroleum refineries and bulk storage facilities, broken oil pipelines, spills of petroleum products in chemical plants and transportation processes as well as commercial and industrial uses(automobile workshops)under which this research work falls into. The risks of explosion and fire are also serious threats to the environment.

Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) concentration is a global parameter includingmany derived petroleum products, commonly applied to establishtarget soil cleanup levels implemented by several regulatoryagencies (Presidency Ministry, 2005; VROM, 2012; Weisman, 1998).The Standard ISO 16703 (ISO,2004) is an internationally acceptedmethod to obtain TPHconcentrations from C10 to C40, althoughthere are other standards currently in use (Rosano-Hernández et al., 2012).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that due to the uncontrolled release of petroleum hydrocarbons into the environment, there has been a considerable amount of contamination in soil and groundwater. As reported by Gruiz and Kriston (1995) an amount of 6,000,000 tons petroleum waste enters into the environment each year causing serious environmental problems.

Even if the problems associated with fuel storage and distribution are solved, contamination incidental to production and commercial usage would continue to threaten groundwater supplies. Many manufacturing processes necessarily produce water and sludge that are contaminated with hydrocarbons.

High concentration levels of hydrocarbons present in contaminated sites could pose a health risk to humans, plants and animal lives. In recent years, the release of hazardous and toxic substances into the soil, water, sediment and air in Niger Delta, Nigeria has been a widespread problem. The economy of Nigeria, the most populous, black African country is largely dependent on crude oil tapped from the Niger Deltaregion. Niger Delta has a population of about 30 million and an estimated 2.8 million barrels of crude oil per day come from this region.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

In evaluating the relevance of pollution cleanup standards, thereare many things that must be considered. Risk factors such as fate, transport, and toxicity of constituents, and monetary factors such as expected cost of remediation are but just afew of the considerations that must be addressed in such an endeavor.This hypothesis evaluates, from a risk and cost perspective, the use of TPH as a cleanupstandard for remediation of petroleum contaminated soils and compares the use of a TPHstandard to a compound specific standard. This thesis also analyzes sampling and analysisData contained in the Installation Restoration Program Information Management System(IRPIMS) database to evaluate the use of the compounds upon which current statestandards are based.

1.3 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this study covers the sampling exercise, field study, a laboratory analysis of samples obtained and interpretation of laboratory data using statistical, graphical illustration. The field study was carried out in Warri Metropolis (Warri, Effurun, Ughelli and Udu), Delta State. Soil samples were collected at different points in the workshops (main workshop and 10metres away from the main workshop).

1.4 Objectives Of Study

The aim of this study is to determine the concentration levels of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in soils found in automobile shop (keke, car, bikes, and truck workshops).


The objective of this work is to ascertain the level of TPHin analyzed samples.

  1. To determine the concentration of TPHin the selected locations of Warri Metropolis (Warri, Effurun, Ughelli and Udu).
  2. To evaluate the impact of TPH on soil consequently, the risk posed to public health as a result of the identified pollution.

Chapter Five

Discussion, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Discussion

TheTotal Petroleum Hydrocarbon(TPH) concentration of samples(mg/kg) from the study area of Warri Metropolis were asfollows;157150.24for (Agbarhokeke 10m away) and 48619.76for (Agbarhokeke main workshop), 37763.6for (Okuokoko truck main workshop) and 13114.8for (Okuokoko truck 10m away), 15745.0for (Warri/Sapelekeke road main workshop) and 1766.67for (Warri/Sapelekeke 10m away), 14380.8for (Okorikperhe truck main workshop) and 249.92for (Okorikperhe truck 10m away) and 17041.6for (PTI road car 2 main workshop) and 3239.38for (PTI road car 2 10m away), 1097.15for (Agbarho bike main workshop) and 2317.68for (Agbarho bike 10m away), 1366.48for (Otokutu bike main workshop) and1127.99for (Otokutu bike 10m away), 1198.90for (PTI car 1 main workshop) and 1077.36for (PTI car 1 10m away),And were also higher than DPR.(2002) and NSW. (2009) recommended maximum permissible limit of 1000mg/kg indicating high level contamination of soil samples from study site. Alinnor and Nwachukwu,(2013) reported that soil samples in Rivers State, Nigeria were contaminated with TPH concentrations of 1534.7, 1438.0 and 1651.0 mg/kg at depths respectively, which are almost in range with some of the results and also lower than other values obtained in this study. According to Iturbeet al. (2004), the soil of coastal Mexican refinery was heavily contaminated with hydrocarbons with detectable TPHconcentration of 130000 mg/kg. This value was higher than those recorded at soils from the study site in this work.

5.2 Conclusion

In this study, the rate of contamination in the environment of interest is far exceeding the allowable limit of 1000mg/kg (DPR 2002). Hence it could be concluded that the area of sampling is highly contaminated which could be as a result of uncontrolled disposal of spent oil by mechanics in the area of interest. This could affect the neighboring water body and further infiltrate into the ground water causing ground water pollution which could lead to an epidemic if not well taken care of. TPH compounds are generally carcinogenic, Genotoxic, teratogenic and immunotoxic in nature

5.3 Recommendation

The composition of petroleum and petroleum products is extremely complex. This complexity makes it difficult to determine environmental impacts at petroleum release sites using traditional EPA methods. It should be very clear that a TPH measurement cannot be used to evaluate risk. TPH methods measure a subset of the sum of a complex mixture of compounds varying greatly in potential toxic properties. Target analyte methods measure only a few of the many compounds in petroleum. Clearly, different analytical methods used for the determination of the environmental impact of petroleum and petroleum products will provide very different information.

  1. The laboratory experimental work should be confirmed by additional testing such as duplication, finer range of parameter variation, etc.
  2. Bacteria growth in-situ should be studied to validate the laboratory findings.
  3. The influence of the type of electron acceptor (oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, etc.)should be evaluated.
  4. Bioremediation of affected sites could be done.

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