Characterization and Correlation of Aliphatic Hydrocarbons in Oil Polluted Waters of Bonny Local Government Area, Rivers State

Main Article Content

Iheonye Chinonye
Osuji Leo
Onyema Mark


Forensic chemical analyses was used to characterize, determine the source and correlate  aliphatic hydrocarbons (AHCs) in water samples collected from Bonny L.G.A, Rivers State. AHCs were extracted from the water samples with n-hexane in a separatory funnel, clean-up achieved by column chromatography using n-hexane and analysis by Gas Chromatography Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID). The GC chromatogram showed well resolved AHC peaks which distributed from nC9nC40. The GC chromatograms of AHCs, with a wide range of low molecular weight hydrocarbons, indicate minimal biodegradation of the oil hydrocarbons in the samples. CPI values from 0.68 to 0.78 for BY-A1, BY-A3, BY-A4 and 0.97 for BY-A2 suggest two sources of oil hydrocarbons. Calculated Pr/Ph ratios showed BY-A1 (2.08), BY-A3 (2.00) and BY-A4 (2.20) were derived from mixed marine and terrestrial source deposited in suboxic environment, while BY-A2 (3.70) was mainly terrigenous source in an oxic environment. A cross-plot of Pr/n-C17 and Ph/n-C18 ratios also showed a tight cluster for samples BY-A1, BY-A3 and BY-A4 which were degraded with sample BY-A2 separate and slightly degraded. Results from this study revealed that the spilled oil was derived from mixed organic sources deposited in an oxic environment with different oil input from external sources showing more terrestrial contribution.

Aliphatic, pristane, phytane, depositional environment, oxic.

Article Details

How to Cite
Chinonye, I., Leo, O., & Mark, O. (2019). Characterization and Correlation of Aliphatic Hydrocarbons in Oil Polluted Waters of Bonny Local Government Area, Rivers State. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 25(3-4), 1-6.
Original Research Article


Diya’uddeen BH, Ashri Wan Daud WM, Abdul Aziz AR. Treatment technologies for petroleum refinery effluents: A review. Process Safety Environment. 2011;89:95-105.

Wang Z, Stout A, Fingas M. Forensic fingerprinting of biomarkers for oil spill characterization and source identification. Environmental Forensics. 2006;7(2):105-146.

Beg MU, Saeed T, Al-Muzaini S, Beg KR, Al-Bahloul M. Distribution of petroleum hydrocarbon in sediment from coastal area receiving industrial effluents in Kuwait. Ecotoxicology Environmental Safety. 2003;54(1):47-55.

Ye B, Zhang Z, Mao T. Petroleum hydrocarbon in surficial sediment from rivers and canals in Tianjin, China. Chemosphere. 2007;68:140-149.

Maioli OLG, Rodrigues KC, Knoppers BA, Azevedo DA. Pollution source evaluation using petroleum and aliphatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments from two Brazilian estuarine system. Organic Geochemistry. 2010;41:966-970.

Zrafi I, Bakhrouf A, Rouabhia M, Saidane-Mosbahi D. Aliphatic and aromatic biomarkers for petroleum hydrocarbon monitoring in Khniss Tunisian-Coast, (Mediterranean Sea). Procedia Environmental Sciences. 2013;18:211–220.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Separatory funnel liquid-liquid extraction. EPA Methods 3510C U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA, Washington, DC. 1996;1-8.

Wang Z. Oil weathering and chemical fingerprinting of spilled or discharged petroleum in the environment. IOC/WESTPAC Workshop, Qingdao, China. 2009;71.

Osuji LC. Petroleum chemistry and toxicology in theory and practice. Jesso International, Owerri, Nigeria. 2011;34-35.

Zhu C, Pan JM, Lu B. Compositional feature of n-alkanes in modern sediments from the changing estuary and adjacent area and its implication to transport and distribution of organic carbon. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. 2005;27(4):59-67.

Bray EE, Evans ED. Distribution of n-paraffins as a clue to recognition of source beds. Geochemical et Cosmochimica Acta. 1961;22:2-15.

Maioli OL, Rodrigues KC, Azevedo DA. Distribution and sources of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in suspended particulate matter in water from two Brazilian estuarine systems. Continental Shelf Research. 2011;31: 1116–1127.

Onyema MO, Osuji LC, Ofodile SE. Geochemical fingerprinting of an oil-impacted site, Niger Delta: Source and weathering profile of aliphatic hydrocarbons. Researcher. 2013;5(10):16–21.

Peters K, Walters C, Moldowan J. The biomarker guide: Biomarkers and isotopes in petroleum systems and Earth history Vol. 2, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press, New York. 2005;1155.

Escobar M, Márquez G, Inciarte S, Rojas J, Esteves I, Malandrino G. The organic geochemistry of oil seeps from the Sierra de Perijá eastern foothills, Lake Maracaibo Basin, Venezuela. Organic Geochemistry. 2011;42:727–738.

Hunt JM. Petroleum geochemistry and geology. W. H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco. 1996;231-238.

Didyk BM, Simoneit BRT, Brassell SC, Eglinton G. Organic geochemical indicators of paleoenvironmental conditions of sedimentation. Nature. 1978;272:216-222.