Comparative Study of Organic Parameters of Soils from Three Selected Universities in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Nigeria

  • William Azuka Iyama Department of General Studies, Rivers State College of Health Science and Management Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, P.M.B. 5039
  • Onisogen Simeon Edori Department of Chemistry, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, PMB 5047 Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Keywords: Hydrocarbon, soil, PAHs, THC, anthropogenic, pyrogenic, TOG


This research study was based on the comparative analysis of hydrocarbon content of soil samples from the 3-selected university campuses of Uniport, RSU and IAUE. Samples were collected from three different points to establish the composite samples within spaces of 500m apart as to obtain representative samples. The parameters for the determination of the hydrocarbon content were measured using the following methods, THC (ASTM D3921), PAHs (USEPA 8270D), TOG (ASTM D3921), TOC (Walkely-Black) and TOM (Walkely-Black). The hydrocarbon content analysis was done using THC (mg/kg), PAHs, TOG, TOC and TOM. The mean results of THC in soils of Uniport, RSU and IAUE were 6139± 146, 6075± 191, 6823± 337; PAHs were 16.36± 0.14, 16.43 ± 0.09 and 16.88± 0.23; for TOG were 10777±6.36, 10689±55.86, and 10839±50.20; for TOC (%) were 5.11±0.50, 4.75±0.25, and 3.33±0.76, whereas TOM recorded 8.81±0.86, 8.18±0.42 and 5.78± 1.28 respectively. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that there was no significant difference in the soil hydrocarbon content for Uniport, RSU and IAUE mostly due to the similar soil structure, texture and geology but most importantly similar kinds of activities on campuses (p<0.05). These results are prompt indications of hydrocarbon pollution and hence adequate monitoring and control of deleterious anthropogenic inputs be put in place to sustain the already degraded soil.


(1) Abu-Hilal, A.H. & Khordagui, H.K. (1994). Petroleum hydrocarbons in the nearshore marine sediments of the United Arab Emirates. Environ. Pollut., 85: 315–319.

(2) Adesuyi1, A., Ngwoke, M.O. ,Akinola, M.O., Njoku, K.L. & Jolaoso, A.O.(2016). Assessment of Physicochemical Characteristics of Sediment from Nwaja Creek, Niger Delta, Nigeria. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 4: 16-27.

(3) Adewuyi, G.O., Etchie, A.T.& Etchie, O.T. (2012). Evaluation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) and Some Related Heavy Metals in Soils and Groundwater of Ubeji Settlement, Warri Metropolis, Nigeria. Terrestrial and Aquatic Environmental Toxicology, 6 (1):61-65.

(4) Aigberua, A.O., Ekubo, A.T., Inengite, A.K. & Izah, S.C. (2016). Evaluation of Total Hydrocarbon Content and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon in an Oil Spill Contaminated Soil in Rumuolukwu Community in Niger Delta. Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques, 4, (4):130-142

(5) Akpokodje, O.I., Uguru, H. & Esegbuyota, D. (2019). Evaluation of phytoremediation potentials of different plants’ varieties in petroleum products polluted soil. Global Journal of Earth and Environmental Science, 4(3):41-46.

(6) Alinnor I. J. & Nwachukwu M. A. (2013). Determination of total petroleum hydrocarbon in soil and groundwater samples in some communities in Rivers State, Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, 5(11), 292-297.

(7) Avramidis, P., Nikolaou, K. & Bekiari, V. (2015). Total Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen in Sediments and Soils: A Comparison of the Wet Oxidation – Titration Method with the Combustion-infrared Method. Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia, 4: 425-430

(8) ASTM (2000). Standard test methods for moisture, ash, and organic matter of peat and other organic soils. Method D 2974-00. American Society for Testing and Materials. West Conshohocken, PA.

(9) ATSDR (1999). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

(10) Azlan, A., Aweng, E.R., Ibrahim, C.O. & Noorhaidah, A. (2012). Correlation between Soil Organic Matter, Total Organic Matter and Water Content with Climate and Depths of Soil at Different Land use in Kelantan, Malaysia. J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Manage., 16 (4) :353-358

(11) Bradley, L.J.N.,Magee, B.H. & Allen, S.L.(1994). Background Levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and Selected Metals in New England Urban Soils. Journal of Soil Contamination, 3 (4): 349-361.

(12) Carter, D.L., Mortland, M.M. & Kemper, D.W. (1986). “Specific surface,” in Methods of Soil Analysis Part I. Soil Science, A. Klute, Ed., 413–422, Society of America, Madison, Wis, USA.

(13) Chad, C. (2018). What are Hydrocarbons? Gulf Coast Environmental Systems.

(14) Chukwu Okeah, G. O., Ushe, L. & Oyegun, C.U. (2019). Analysis of Soil Quality in a Deltaic Hydrocarbon Polluted Environment Niger Delta Nigeria. South Asian Research Journal of Natural Products, 2(4), 1-9.

(15) Das, N. & Chandran, P. (2011). Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminants: An overview. Biotechnology Research International Journal, 1-13.

(16) David, W.B. and Jessie, A.K. (2014). Introductory Chemistry (1st Canadian Edition). Pressbooks, Canada.

(17) DEC(1992). Department of Environmental Conservation - DEC, Petroleum- contaminated soil guidance policy. Spills technology and related series (STARS). Revised. New York State.

(18) Denys, S., Rollin C., Guillot, F. & Baroudi, H. (2006). In-situ phytoremediation of PAHs contaminated soils following a bioremediation treatment. Water Air Soil Pollution, 6: 299- 315.

(19) DPR (2002). Department of Petroleum Resources ―EGASPIN soil/sediment target and intervention values for Mineral oil (or TPH) in Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria, 2, 1–415, Lagos, Nigeria.

(20) Dumitru, M. & Vladimirescu, A. (2017). Loads Limits Values of Soils with Petroleum Hydrocarbons. 19th EGU General Assembly, EGU2017, proceedings from the conference held 23-28 April, 2017 in Vienna, Austria., p.12351

(21) Edori, O.S. & Iyama, W.A. (2019). Source Identification of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Water at Point of Effluent Discharge into the New Calabar River, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 9 (6): 343-349.

(22) Edwards J.H., Wood, C.W., Thurlow, D.L. & Ruf, M.E. (1999). Tillage and crop rotation effects on fertility status of a Hapludalf soil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 56:1577-1582.

(23) Ekpete, O. A., Edori, O. S. & Iyama, W. A. (2019). Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Selected Dumpsites within Port Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State, Niger Delta, Nigeria. International Journal of Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources, 21 (4): 01-06, 556066 DOI: 19080/ IJESNR. 2019.21.556066

(24) ESD (1993). Environmental Sciences Division. Use of Gross Parameters for Assessment of Hydrocarbon Contamination of Soils in Alberta, Oxford, UK.

(25) Freitag, D.,Ballhorn, L., Geyer, H. & Korte, F (1985).“Environmental Hazard profile of Organic Chemicals. Chemosphere,” 14:1589-1616.

(26) Goldberg, E.D. (1976). The Health of the Ocean, UNESCO Press, Paris.

(27) Harrison, R.M. et al. (1997).Comparative receptor modelling study of airborne particulate pollutants in Birmingham (United Kingdom), Coimbra (Portugal) and Lahore (Pakistan). Atmospheric Environment, 31:3309–3321.

(28) Ibigoni, C.H., Gabriel Snr, U.U. & Horsfall, Jnr., M. (2009). Evaluation of total hydrocarbon levels in some aquatic media in an oil polluted mangrove wetland in the Niger Delta. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 7(2):111–120.

(29) Ideriah, T.J.K.& Ikoro, U.J. (2015). Hydrogeochemical Characteristics and Quality Assessment of Groundwater in University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt. International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis, 3(4):221-232

(30) Idisi, J. & Uguru, H. (2020). Petroleum hydrocarbons content in the soil and its accumulation in grasses from oil spill site at Isoko North LGA of Delta State, Nigeria. Direct Research Journal of Agriculture and Food Science, 8 (5): 144-150.

(31) Ighariemu,V., Belonwu, D.C. & Wegwu, M.O. (2019). Level of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Water and Sediment of Ikoli Creek, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences, 11: 114-119.

(32) Ijeomah, H.M., Chima, U.D. & Okagbare, O. H. (2013). Ecological Survey of Avifaunal Resources in University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management, 6(6): 648-660.

(33) Iyama, W.A. & Edori, O.S. (2019). Determination of Chemical and Gross Organic Pollutant Levels in Leachates from Approved Waste Dumpsites, Port Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria. Journal of Global Ecology and Environment, 9(1): 29-38.

(34) Ite, A. E. & Semple, K. T. (2012). Biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soils. In Arora R (ed). Microbial Biotechnology: Energy and Environment, Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CAB International.

(35) Iwegbue, C.M.A.,Williams, E.S & Nwajei, G.E.(2008). Characteristic Levels of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon in Soil Profiles of Automobile Mechanic Waste Dumps. International Journal of Soil Science, 3: 48-51.

(36) Jauss, V., Sullivan, P., Lehmann, J., Sanderman, J. & Daub, M. (2017). Alternative modelling approaches for estimating pyrogenic carbon, soil organic carbon and total nitrogen in contrasting ecoregions within the United States. Geophys. Res. Abstr., 19, 497.

(37) Lu, X., Lin, Y.L., Wu, Y.N., Gu, Y., Zhao, Q. & Zhang, X.(2018). Spatial Distribution Characteristics of Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Milu National Nature Reserve of Coastal Wetland. Trans. Oceanol. Limnol. , 4, 74–81.

(38) Lyons, B.P., Barber, J.L., Rumney, H.S., Bolam, T.P.C., Bersuder, P., Law, R.J.,Mason, C.,Smith, A.J., Morris, S., Devlin, M.J., AlEnezi, M., Massoud, M.S., Al-Zaid, A.S. & Al-Sarawi, H.A.(2015). Baseline survey of marine sediments collected from the State of Kuwait: PAHs, PCBs, brominated flame retardants and metal contamination. Marine Pollution Bulletin 100: 629–636.

(39) Mebius, L.J. (1960). A rapid method for the determination of organic carbon in soil. Anal Chim. Acta. 22:120-124.

(40) Menzie, C.A., Potocki, B.B. & Santodonato, J.(1992). Exposure to carcinogenic PAHs in the environment. Environmental Science and Technology, 26:1278–1284.

(41) Mielke, H.W. et al .(2001). PAH and metal mixtures in New Orleans soils and sediments. Science of the Total Environment, 281: 217–227.

(42) Moslen, M. & Miebaka, C.A. (2019). Hydrocarbon Contamination of Sediments in the Niger Delta Region: a case study of the Azuabie Creek, upper reaches of the Bonny Estuary, Nigeria. IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology (IOSR-JESTFT), 11 (9):26-32

(43) Okop, I.J. & Ekpo, A.P. (2012). Determination of Total Hydrocarbon Content in Soil after Petroleum Spillage. Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering , Vol III WCE 2012, July 4 - 6, 2012, London, U.K.
(44) Onianwa, P.C. (1995). Petroleum hydrocarbon pollution of urban topsoil in Ibadan City, Nigeria. Environment International, 21 (3): 341-343.

(45) Onyejekwe, I. M., Osuji, L. C., & Nwaichi, E. O. (2019). Physico-chemical Alterations and Hydrocarbon Characteristics of Kom-Kom Oil Spill Soils. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 25(2), 1-8.

(46) Osuji, L.C. & Adesiyan, S.O.(2005). The Isiokpo Oil‐Pipeline Leakage: Total Organic Carbon/Organic Matter Contents of Affected Soils. Chemistry and Biodiversity, 2 (8): 1079- 1085

(47) Pawlak, Z., Rauckyte, T.& Oloyede, A.(2008).Oil, grease and used petroleum oil management and environmental economic issues . Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, 26 (1): 11-17.

(48) Ruchaya, B. W., Gullaya, T. & Ayako, H. (2006). Takada, Distribution and origins of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in riverine, estuarine, and marine sediments in Thailand. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 52, 942–956.

(49) Raich, J.W., Rastetter, E.B., Melillo, J.M., Kicklighter, D.W., Steudler, P.A., Peterson, B.J., Grace, A.L., Moore III, B.& VoÈroÈsmarty, C.J.(1991). Potential net primary productivity in South America: Application of a global model. Ecological Applications, 1: 399-429.

(50) Rastetter, E.B., Ryan, M.G., Shaver, G.R., Melillo, J.M., Nadelhoffer, K.J., Hobbie, J. & Aber, J.D. (1991). A general biogeochemistry model describing the responses of the C and N cycles in terrestrial ecosystems to changes in CO2, climate and N deposition. Tree Physiology, 9: 101- 126.

(51) Ribes, A. ,Grimalt, J.O.,Torres, C.J.& Cuevas, E.(2003). “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mountain soils of the subtropical Atlantic”. Journal of Environ. Qual., 32:977-987.

(52) Schwartz, G., Eshel, G. & Ben-Dor, E. (2011). “Reflectance spectroscopy as a tool for monitoring contaminated soils”. In Soil Contamination, Intech, Web of Science, Croatia. Staff, S.S. (2010). Keys to Soil Taxonomy, Government Printing Office.

(53) Soil Survey Staff (2010) Keys to Soil Taxonomy. 11th Edition, USDA-NRCS, Washington DC.

(54) Sojinu, O.S.S., Wang, J.Z., Sonibared, O.O.& Zeng E.Y. (2010).Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments and soils from oil exploration areas of the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 174: 641- 647.

(55) Terese, R., Slawomir, Z., Zenon, P.& Oloyede, A. (2011). Determination of oil and grease, total petroleum hydrocarbons and volatile aromatic compounds in
soil and sediment samples. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, 18(3):163-169.

(56) Trapido, M. (1999). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Estonian soil: contamination and profiles. Environmental Pollution,105: 67–74.

(57) USEPA (2010). United States Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking Water Contaminants. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.

(58) Walkley, A. & Black, I.A. (1934). An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining organic carbon in soils: Effect of variations in digestion conditions and of inorganic soil constituents. Soil Sci., 63:251-263.

(59) WHO (1971). World Health Organization. International Standards for Drinking Water (3rd Edn.), Geneva, 70pp.WHO (2010). World Health Organization. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon. WHO guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Selected Pollutants.

(60) Woodhead, R.J., Law, R.J. & Matthiessen, P. (1999). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments around England and Wales, and their possible biological significance. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 38, 773–790.
How to Cite
Iyama, W. A., & Edori, O. S. (2021). Comparative Study of Organic Parameters of Soils from Three Selected Universities in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Nigeria. European Journal of Applied Sciences, 9(1), 21-34.