This study was conducted to quantify and rank the effectiveness of onsite exsitu remediation by enhanced natural attenuation using soil quality index. The investigation was conducted at three oil spill sites in the Niger Delta (5.317°N, 6.467°E), Nigeria with a predominance of Oxisols. Baseline assessment and a two-step post-remediation monitoring of the sites were conducted. Target contaminants including total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene) were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results of the baseline assessment showed that TPH concentrations across the study sites averaged between 5113 and 7640 mg/kg at 0- to 1-m depth, which was higher than the local regulatory value of 5000 mg/kg. The soil quality index across the sites ranged between 68 and 45, suggesting medium to high potential ecological health risks with medium to high priority for remediation. BTEX concentrations followed a similar trend. However, after remediation TPH degraded rapidly initially and then slowly but asymptotically during the post-remediation monitoring period. Then, soil quality index across the study sites ranged between 100 and 58, indicating very low to medium potential ecological health risks. This demonstrates the effectiveness of onsite exsitu remediation by enhanced natural attenuation as a remediation strategy for petroleum-contaminated soils, which holds great promise for the Niger Delta province.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Dec 15, 2017
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