Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Publications

7 Delineation of Oil – Polluted Sites in Ibeno LGA, Nigeria, Using Microbiological and Physicochemical Characterization

Authors: Ime R. Udotong, Justina I. R. Udotong

Abstract:

Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and the highest crude oil & condensate producer in Nigeria has its operational base and an oil terminal, the Qua Iboe terminal (QIT) located at Ibeno, Nigeria. Other oil companies like Network Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd, Frontier Oil Ltd; Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd; Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd and Nigerian Agip Energy, a subsidiary of the Italian ENI E&P operate onshore, on the continental shelf and in deep offshore of the Atlantic Ocean, respectively with the coastal waters of Ibeno, Nigeria as the nearest shoreline. This study was designed to delineate the oil-polluted sites in Ibeno, Nigeria using microbiological and physico-chemical characterization of soils, sediments and ground and surface water samples from the study area. Results obtained revealed that there have been significant recent hydrocarbon inputs into this environment as observed from the high counts of hydrocarbonoclastic microorganisms in excess of 1% at all the stations sampled. Moreover, high concentrations of THC, BTEX and heavy metals contents in all the samples analyzed corroborate the high recent crude oil input into the study area. The results also showed that the pollution of the different environmental media sampled were of varying degrees, following the trend: ground water > surface water > sediments > soils.

Keywords: Microbiological characterization, oil-polluted sites, physico-chemical analyses, total hydrocarbon content.

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6 Assessment of Diagnostic Enzymes as Indices of Heavy Metal Pollution in Tilapia Fish

Authors: Justina I. R. Udotong

Abstract:

Diagnostic enzymes like aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were determined as indices of heavy metal pollution in Tilapia guinensis. Three different sets of fishes treated with lead (Pb), iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) were used for the study while a fourth group with no heavy metal served as a control. Fishes in each of the groups were exposed to 2.65mg/l of Pb, 0.85mg/l of Fe and 0.35 mg/l of Cu in aerated aquaria for 96 hours. Tissue fractionation of the liver tissues was carried out and the three diagnostic enzymes (AST, ALT, and ALP) were estimated. Serum levels of the same diagnostic enzymes were also measured. The mean values of the serum enzyme activity for ALP in each experimental group were 19.5±1.62, 29.67±2.17 and 1.15±0.27 IU/L for Pb, Fe and Cu groups compared with 9.99±1.34 IU/L enzyme activity in the control. This result showed that Pb and Fe caused increased release of the enzyme into the blood circulation indicating increased tissue damage while Cu caused a reduction in the serum level as compared with the level in the control group. The mean values of enzyme activity obtained in the liver were 102.14±6.12, 140.17±2.06 and 168.23±3.52 IU/L for Pb, Fe and Cu groups, respectively compared to 91.20±9.42 IU/L enzyme activity for the control group. The serum and liver AST and ALT activities obtained in Pb, Fe, Cu and control groups are reported. It was generally noted that the presence of the heavy metal caused liver tissues damage and consequent increased level of the diagnostic enzymes in the serum.

Keywords: Diagnostic enzymes, enzyme activity, heavy metals, tissues investigations.

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5 Spatio-temporal Variations in Heavy Metal Concentrations in Sediment of Qua Iboe River Estuary, Nigeria

Authors: Justina I. R. Udotong, Ime R. Udotong, Offiong U. Eka

Abstract:

The concentrations of heavy metals in sediments of Qua Iboe River Estuary (QIRE) were monitored at four different sampling locations in wet and dry seasons. A preliminary survey to determine the four sampling stations along the river continuum showed that the area spanned between <0.1‰ salinity at the control station and 21.5‰ at the fourth station along the river continuum. A preliminary survey to determine the four sampling locations along the river estuary showed variations in salinity and other physicochemical parameters. The estuary was found to be polluted with heavy metals from point and nonpoint sources at varying degrees. Mean values of 7.80 mg/kg, 4.97 mg/kg and 2.80 mg/kg of nickel were obtained for sediment samples from Douglas creek, Qua Iboe and Atlantic sampling locations, respectively in the dry season. The wet season nickel concentrations were however lower. The entire study area was grossly contaminated by iron. At Douglas creek, the concentration of iron in sediment was 9274 ± 9.54mg/kg while copper, nickel, lead and vanadium were <0.5mg/kg each as compared to iron. Bioaccumulation was therefore suspected within the study area as values of 31.00 ± 0.79, 36.00 ± 0.10 and 55.00 ± 0.05 mg/kg of zinc were recorded in sediment at Douglas creek, Atlantic and the control sampling locations. The results from this study showed that the source of these heavy metals were from point sources like the corrosion of metal steel pipes from old bridges as well as oily sludge wastes from the Qua Iboe Terminal / tank farm located within the vicinity of the study area.

Keywords: Heavy metal, Qua Iboe River Estuary, seasonal variations, sediment.

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4 Oily Sludge Bioremediation Pilot Plant Project, Nigeria

Authors: Ime R. Udotong, Justina I. R. Udotong, Ofonime U. M. John

Abstract:

Brass terminal, one of the several crude oil and petroleum products storage/handling facilities in the Niger Delta was built in the 1980s. Activities at this site, over the years, released crude oil into this 3 m-deep, 1500 m-long canal lying adjacent to the terminal with oil floating on it and its sediment heavily polluted. To ensure effective clean-up, three major activities were planned: site characterization, bioremediation pilot plant construction and testing and full-scale bioremediation of contaminated sediment / bank soil by land farming. The canal was delineated into 12 lots and each characterized, with reference to the floating oily phase, contaminated sediment and canal bank soil. As a result of site characterization, a pilot plant for on-site bioremediation was designed and a treatment basin constructed for carrying out pilot bioremediation test. Following a designed sampling protocol, samples from this pilot plant were collected for analysis at two laboratories as a quality assurance / quality control check. Results showed that Brass Canal upstream is contaminated with dark, thick and viscous oily film with characteristic hydrocarbon smell while downstream, thin oily film interspersed with water was observed. Sediments were observed to be dark with mixture of brownish sandy soil with TPH ranging from 17,800 mg/kg in Lot 1 to 88,500 mg/kg in Lot 12 samples. Brass Canal bank soil was observed to be sandy from ground surface to 3m, below ground surface (bgs) it was silty-sandy and brownish while subsurface soil (4-10m bgs) was sandy-clayey and whitish/grayish with typical hydrocarbon smell. Preliminary results obtained so far have been very promising but were proprietary. This project is considered, to the best of technical literature knowledge, the first large-scale on-site bioremediation project in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria.

Keywords: Bioremediation, Contaminated sediment, Land farming, Oily sludge, Oil Terminal.

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3 Histopathological Changes in Liver and Muscle of Tilapia Fish from QIRE Exposed to Concentrations of Heavy Metals

Authors: Justina I. R. Udotong

Abstract:

Toxicity of copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and iron (Fe) to Tilapia guinensis was carried out for 4 days with a view to determining their effects on the liver and muscle tissues. Tilapia guinensis samples of about 10 - 14cm length and 0.2 – 0.4kg weight each were obtained from University of Calabar fish ponds and acclimated for three (3) days before the experimental set up. Survivors after the 96-hr LC50 test period were selected from test solutions of the heavy metals for the histopathological studies. Histological preparations of liver and muscle tissues were randomly examined for histopathological lesions. Results of the histological examinations showed gross abnormalities in the liver tissues due to pathological and degenerative changes compared to liver and muscle tissues from control samples (tilapia fishes from aquaria without heavy metals). Extensive hepatocyte necrosis with chronic inflammatory changes was observed in the liver of fishes exposed to Cu solution. Similar but less damaging effects were observed in the liver of fishes exposed to Pb and Fe. The extent of lesion observed was therefore heavy metal-related. However, no pathologic changes occurred in the muscle tissues.

Keywords: Degenerative changes, heavy metal, hepatocyte necrosis, histopathology, toxicity.

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2 Delineation of Oil – Polluted Sites in Ibeno LGA, Nigeria, Using Geophysical Techniques

Authors: Ime R. Udotong, Justina I. R. Udotong, Ofonime U. M. John

Abstract:

Ibeno, Nigeria hosts the operational base of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and the current highest oil & condensate producer in Nigeria. Besides MPNU, other oil companies operate onshore, on the continental shelf and deep offshore of the Atlantic Ocean in Ibeno, Nigeria. This study was designed to delineate oil polluted sites in Ibeno, Nigeria using geophysical methods of electrical resistivity (ER) and ground penetrating radar (GPR). Results obtained revealed that there have been hydrocarbon contaminations of this environment by past crude oil spills as observed from high resistivity values and GPR profiles which clearly show the distribution, thickness and lateral extent of hydrocarbon contamination as represented on the radargram reflector tones. Contaminations were of varying degrees, ranging from slight to high, indicating levels of substantial attenuation of crude oil contamination over time. Moreover, the display of relatively lower resistivities of locations outside the impacted areas compared to resistivity values within the impacted areas and the 3-D Cartesian images of oil contaminant plume depicted by red, light brown and magenta for high, low and very low oil impacted areas, respectively confirmed significant recent pollution of the study area with crude oil.

Keywords: Electrical resistivity, geophysical investigations, ground penetrating radar, oil-polluted sites.

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1 Microbiological and Physicochemical Studies of Wetland Soils in Eket, Nigeria

Authors: Ime R. Udotong, Ofonime U. M. John, Justina I. R. Udotong

Abstract:

The microbiological and physicochemical characteristics of wetland soils in Eket Local Government Area were studied between May 2001 and June 2003. Total heterotrophic bacterial counts (THBC), total fungal counts (TFC), and total actinomycetes counts (TAC) were determined from soil samples taken from four locations at two depths in the wet and dry seasons. Microbial isolates were characterized and identified. Particle size and chemical parameters were also determined using standard methods. THBC ranged from 5.2 (+0.17) x106 to 1.7 (+0.18) x107 cfu/g and from 2.4 (+0.02) x106 to 1.4 (+0.04) x107cfu/g in the wet and dry seasons, respectively. TFC ranged from 1.8 (+0.03) x106 to 6.6 (+ 0.18) x106 cfu/g and from 1.0 (+0.04) x106 to 4.2 (+ 0.01) x106 cfu/g in the wet and dry seasons, respectively .TAC ranged from 1.2 (+0.53) x106 to 6.0 (+0.05) x106 cfu/g and from 0.6 (+0.01) x106 to 3.2 (+ 0.12) x106 cfu/g in the wet and dry season, respectively. Acinetobacter, Alcaligenes, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Beijerinckja, Enterobacter, Micrococcus, Flavobacterium, Serratia, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas species were predominant bacteria while Aspergillus, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, and Rhizopus were the dominant fungal genera isolated. Streptomyces and Norcadia were the actinomycetes genera isolated. The particle size analysis showed high sand fraction but low silt and clay. The pH and % organic matter were generally acidic and low, respectively at all locations. Calcium dominated the exchangeable bases with low electrical conductivity and micronutrients. These results provide the baseline data of Eket wetland soils for its management for sustainable agriculture.

Keywords: Wetland soils, Microbial counts, physicochemicalcharacteristics, Sustainable agriculture.

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