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Predictive Model for Petroleum Hydrocarbon Degradation in Aqueous Environment

Wobuoma L., Ukpaka C. P., Ikenyiri P. N.


An experimental research was conducted to determine the degradation rate of petroleum hydrocarbon pollutants in aqueous media. Targeted compounds were analytically discovered with gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) to ascertain the Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPHs). Results reveal that the TPH varied from 597.22 ppm to 1190.59 ppm in water samples with mean values of 799.158 ppm and the average amount of TPH in sampling site was higher than European Union Standard limit of 300 µg/L or 0.3 ppm. Results obtained from the concentration time profile graph indicate a decrease in concentration as time increases. The models developed were formulated for the computation of the various degradation parameters: Specific rate V, Maximum specific rate Vmax and Degradation or Michaelis–Menten constant Km from Lineweaver–Burk plot for different petroleum hydrocarbons mixtures. These parameters can be used as basis for further improvement of the models, and also, serves as a draft for pilot-scale bioremediation processes. The models were tested with data obtained from literature and the results reveal that the models were appropriate for predicting and monitoring the rates of degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon in contaminated site. The physicochemical parameters of the various samples were investigated for pH, EC, DO, BOD5, Salinity and Temperature as these quality parameters were capable of affecting the biological characteristics of aquatic environment and were the basis for evaluating suitability of such water body for its designated uses. Although some of these parameters may have limited health significance, international standards necessitate their determination.


Predictive, model, petroleum hydrocarbon, degradation, aqueous media, parameters

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