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Microbiological And Physicochemical Analysis Of Kaduna Refinery Effluents

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The Microbiological and Physicochemical properties of refinery effluent were analyzed in this study. The physicochemical parameters analyzed and values were Temperature 310C, Turbidity 19 NTU, Electrical Conductivity 823µS/cm, pH 7.42, Total Solid 8623.23mg/L, Total Suspended Solid 22.43mg/L, Total Dissolved Solid 840.80mg/L, Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) 60mg/L, Dissolved Oxygen (DO) 1.54mg/L, Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) 14.65mg/L, Nitrate 0.39mg/L, Sulphate 58.5mg/L, Alkalinity 60mg/L and Total Hardness 40mg/L. within WHO Permissible Limit except Turbidity, COD, BOD and DO which was too low. All these parameters were determined using standard procedures. The Microbiological analysis carried out was Isolation of microorganisms in the refinery effluent. The bacteria genera isolated were Bacillus cereus,

Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Micrococcus specie, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus
while the fungispecies include Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium specie, Mucor specie and Penicillium specie. The total viable counts of the micro organisms isolates are 6.3×107 for total heterotrophic bacteria, 2.9×106 for hydrocarbon utilizing bacteria, 6.6×105 for total heterotrophic fungi and 2.4×104 for hydrocarbon utilizing fungi. The bacterial isolates were later subjected to screening in Minimal Salt Medium (MSM) for ability to utilize Refinery effluent and Bacillus cereus and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (P1 and P2) were used to determine the rate of biodegradation of refinery effluent by the production of carbondioxide and water as their end product. Hence, in order to protect the environment, refinery effluent should be well treated before discharging into water bodies and it should be in accordance with WHO standard. However, routine check up should be made on industrial effluent with a view of ensuring their compliance.



Refinery effluents also known as industrial effluents means liquid water or waste water produced by reason of the production processes taking place at any industrial premises (Gulfraz et al., 2003).

Industrialization during 19th century changed mankind’s life style. New technology raised man’s standard and made life more comfortable but with increasing industrial developments, safe disposal of industrial waste water has become the more ecological challenge. Environmental degradation has now become a global problem and maintaining ecosystem health is a serious issue being confronted by the environmentalists (Kumar, 2011).

Petroleum refinery effluents (PRE) are wastes originating from industries primarily engaged in refining crude oil and manufacturing fuels, lubricants and petrochemical intermediates (Harry and McGraw, 1995). These effluents are a major source of aquatic environmental pollution. The effluents are composed of oil and grease along with many other toxic organic compounds. Although, concerted efforts have been made to replace fossils fuels, crude oil remains an important raw material. The need to satisfy the ever-increasing global energy demand which is expected to soar by 44% over the next two decades makes the processing of crude oil and the generation of PRE globally import issue (Diya’uddeen et al., 2011).

Petroleum, generally referred to as “crude oil,” is a mixture of hydrocarbons, oil and chemicals obtained below the sub-surface of the earth. Crude oil contains a mixture of complex hydrocarbons molecules. The hydrocarbons are classified into the following; Normal alkanes, branched alkanes, cyclo alkanes and the aromatic (benzene, phenol, toluene, xylene and catechol) (Njoku, 2004).

Crude oil spill is the release of crude petroleum hydrocarbons into the environment due to human activities and are classified into two main types; the land (on-shore) and the marine (off-shore) oil spills. Land oil spill occurs when crude oil is released on land which affect soil ecosystem. The different ways by which crude oil enters the environment are from natural seep (1%), atmospheric input (1%), off-shore production (1%) coastal and estuarine effluents (3%), non-refinery industrial wastes (5%), municipal wastes (5%), urban run-off (5%), rivers (26%) and oil waste discharge from oil industries (5.3%) (Okereke, 2006).

The process of refining crude oil consumes large amounts of water (Coelho et al., 2006). Consequently, significant volumes of waste water are generated, resulting in serious environmental pollution. At present, the conventional oily waste water treatment processes include air floatation, membrane separation, chemical coagulation, chemical oxidation, physical absorption, biodegradation and so on. However, these traditional technologies have often encountered some problems, such as complex procedures, poor performances and high management requirement (Wang and song, 2002).

Industrial effluents are usually considered as undesirable for arable soil, plants, animals and human health because these contained heavy and trace metals like Cr, Mn. Fe, Cu, Co, Zn, Ni, As. Cd and pb are discharged continuously into water sources (Streams/nullahs, canals and rivers) are allowed to spread on agricultural lands. The unplanned disposal of these effluents has increased the threat of environmental pollution (Gulfraz et al., 2003).

1.1 Statement of the Problem 

Environmental pollution is matter of great concern and has been accepted as a global problem, because of its adverse effects. In literature various studies has showed that biologists, all over the globe, are monitoring the industrial effluents by chemical analysis and studying the effects on biota of effected area. However, many studies are available about the effect of effluents on seed germination of important crops (Rajesh, 1995).

Due to continuous increase of fuel demand, a developing country like Nigerian is establishing the oil and gas industries and their effluents can be environment hazardous as studies by (Lenwood and Denis, 2005). Therefore the management of oil and gas industrial environments requires constant monitoring of their effluents. The essence of such monitoring is to ascertain the level of compliance of such industries with the pollution control guide lines set by regulating agencies (Uyigne, 2002).

Effluents discharge is the most devastating pollution source because pollution of water, air and land are very closely inter related and if not properly managed, pollutants from one medium could be transferred to other media. In order to address this problem, most countries have set up effluent discharge standard and regulations as well as enforcement agencies. Nigeria as a developing Nation applies anticipative and preventive strategies to avoid expensive and intensive environmental control measures (Kulshreshtha, 1998).

1.2 Justification

At present, bioremediation (use of micro organisms to remove pollutants) is often the most suitable method for remediation of especially petroleum hydrocarbons, because it is cost effective and it converts the petroleum hydrocarbons into harmless by products such as carbondioxide and water. Waste water may be treated by physicochemical or biological methods, biological treatment is preferred over physiochemical as the former is cost effective, efficient and environmentally friendly (Suleimanov, 1995).

1.3 Aim

This study aimed at analyzing the microbiological and physiochemical parameters of refinery effluents.

1.4 Objectives

  1. To determine the microbiological properties of refinery effluent.
  2. To determine the physiochemical parameters of refinery effluent.
  3. To isolate and characterize hydrocarbon utilizing microorganism.
  4. To screen the bacterial isolates for ability to utilize the refinery effluent.
  5. To determine the rate of biodegradation of refinery effluents of selected bacteria.


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