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Impact of remediation on the physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal concentration of crude oil contaminated water samples

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B 5323, Choba, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • 2Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B 5323, Choba, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 9, Issue (4), Pages 39-45, October,18 (2019)


The adsorption characteristics of three terrestrial plants; Bitter Leaf (Vernonia Amygdalina), Water Leaf (Talinum Triangulare), and Vetiver Grass (Vetiveria Zizanioides) were used in the remediation of crude oil contaminated water samples. The phytoremediation characteristics of these plants where determined through their ability to clean up crude oil contaminated water samples and bring their physicochemical parameters and heavy metal concentrations within World Health Organization (WHO) acceptable limits. The leaves of these plants were dried at a temperature of 65 0C, ground and sieved to a mesh size of 30 µm. Physicochemical characteristics and Heavy metal concentration of the oil contaminated water samples were determined before and after phytoremediation using American Standard for testing and Materials (ASTM) and Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS) respectively. Results obtained showed that apart from the pH, the other physicochemical parameters such as temperature, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen and salinity were within WHO acceptable limits (before and after remediation). Apart from Lead (Pb), the concentration of the other heavy metals (Zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu)) were within acceptable WHO limit after the simulated spill on water, though consistent exposure to crude oil contamination through spillage may result in the accumulation of these heavy metals within the environment. The concentration of Lead (Pb) was above WHO acceptable limit even after remediation with bitter leaf, water leaf and vetiver grass hence the plants lack the ability to clean up Lead (Pb) from the water body. High concentration of Lead (Pb) has a lot of catastrophic effect on the ecosystem such as retardation of growth in animals, negative impact on photosynthesis, destruction of microbial activity in the soil etc. The total percentage reduction of heavy metal concentration after remediation with bitter leaf, water leaf and vetiver grass were 55.00 %, 45.00 % and 30.80 % indicating that bitter leaf is the best amongst the other plants in the cleanup of heavy metal from the water samples.


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