Phytoremediation of Crude Oil Contaminated Soil with Carpet Grass (Axonopuscompressus) in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Afribolt Tech 55 PAGES (11617 WORDS) Seminar
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Soil contamination is one of the major environmental problems facing the world today.
Contamination of soil by hydrocarbons (mostly petroleum hydrocarbons) is becoming
prevalent worldwide (Njoku et al., 2008). This is probably due to heavy dependence on
petroleum as a major source of energy throughout the world, rapid industrialization,
population growth and complete disregard for the environmental health. In Nigeria, oil
pollution problems have been prevalent since the commencement of oil exploration and
development of the petroleum industry (Okohet al., 2001). Release of hydrocarbons into the
environment whether accidentally or due to human activities is a main cause of water and soil
pollution (Holligeret al., 1997). These hydrocarbon pollutants usually cause disruptions of
natural equilibrium between the living species and their natural environment. Hydrocarbon
components have been known to belong to the family of carcinogens and neurotoxic organic
pollutants (Das and Chandran, 2010). The amount of natural crude oil seepage was estimated
to be 600000 metric tons per year with a range of uncertainty of 200,000 metric tons per year
(Kvenvolden and Cooper, 2003). Soil contamination with hydrocarbons causes extensive
damage of body system since accumulation of pollutants in animals and plant tissue may
cause death or mutations (Sheetal, 2012). These oil spills can even cause damage to the sea
and shoreline organisms (Rodríguez-Martínez,2006). Other sources of contamination include
service stations, garages, scrap yard, waste treatment plants, saw mills, etc. Hydrocarbons
differ in their susceptibility to microbial attack and can be generally 5 ranked as follows:
linear alkanes > branched alkanes > small aromatics > cyclic alkanes (Rosenberg and Ron,
1996). Some compounds, such as the high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs), may not be degraded at all. Between 1976 and 1996, a total of 4,647
oil spill incidents were recorded in Nigeria which resulted in the spill of approximately 2.3
million barrels of oil into the environment (Kotangora, 1991)and between 1997 and 2001, a
total of 2,097 oil spill cases were also recorded, causing severe damage to soil resources and
the coastal environment (EkpebuandUkpong, 2013). There are several classes of chemicals
that have been targeted by United States Environmental Agency (USEPA) as priority
pollutants due to their toxic effects on the environment and human health. These
chemicalsinclude polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, penta-chlorophenols, polychlorinated
biphenyls, 1,1,1- trichloro 2,2-bis (4-chlorophenyl) ethane, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene,
xylene and trinitrotoluene.
Polycyclic aromatichydrocarbons (PAH) are recalcitrant environmental contaminants that are
generated from the burning of fossil fuels, coal mining, oil drilling and wood burning (Lau et
al., 2003; Verdinet al., 2004).
Soil is a natural body comprised of solids (minerals and organic matter), liquid and gases that
occur on the land surface ( The soil is a key component of natural
ecosystems because environmental sustainability depends largely on a sustainable soil
ecosystem (Adriano et al.,1998). When soil is polluted, the ecosystem is altered and
agricultural activities are affected. Organic compounds such as crude oil and by-products
have been reported as hazardous to plants (Achubaet al., 2015). They also determine the
emergence of seed, plant development and growth (Odejegba and Sadiq ,2002). In Nigeria,
most of the terrestrial ecosystem and shorelines in oil-producing communities are important
agricultural land under continuous cultivation. Any contact with crude oil damages the soil in
the agricultural lands, including adverse effects on microorganisms and plants (Onuohaet
al.,2003; Kadafa,2012).
Hydrocarbons areany of a class of organic chemical compounds composed only of the
elements carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). The carbon atoms join together to form the
framework of the compound, and the hydrogen atoms attach to them in many different
configurations. Hydrocarbons are the principal constituents of petroleum and natural
gas( Hydrocarbon contamination of the air, soil, freshwater (surface
water and groundwater) especially by PAHs has drawn public concerns because many PAHs
are toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic. Aromatic hydrocarbons are considered to be the most
acute toxic component of petroleum products, and are also associated with chronic and
carcinogenic effects (Andersonet al., 1974). Aromatics are often distinguished by the number
of rings they possess, which may range from
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Afribolt, T (2019). Phytoremediation of Crude Oil Contaminated Soil with Carpet Grass (Axonopuscompressus) in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Retrieved August 19, 2019, from

MLA 8th

Tech, Afribolt. "Phytoremediation of Crude Oil Contaminated Soil with Carpet Grass (Axonopuscompressus) in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria", 05 Aug. 2019, . Accessed 19 Aug. 2019.


Tech, Afribolt. "Phytoremediation of Crude Oil Contaminated Soil with Carpet Grass (Axonopuscompressus) in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria".,, 05 Aug. 2019. Web. 19 Aug. 2019. < >.


Tech, Afribolt. "Phytoremediation of Crude Oil Contaminated Soil with Carpet Grass (Axonopuscompressus) in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria" (2019). Accessed August 19, 2019.