Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Daniel Deocampo

Second Advisor

Brian Meyer

Third Advisor

Nadine Kabengi

Abstract

ABSTRACT

To compare the degree of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in sediments from Ikarama and Okwori in the Niger delta, Nigeria, concentrations of n-alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the sediments were measured. Analysis was conducted with gas chromatography using mass spectrometry detector. While the decrease in concentrations of n-alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons confirmed the process of biodegradation in the sediments it was not solely fit to substantiate the degree of biodegradation in the sediments. Hence the percentage proportion of n-alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was used. The degree of biodegradation of n-alkanes in both Okwori and Ikarama was almost similar. However, it was observed that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were biodegraded in Okwori sediments than Ikarama sediments and this indicates the degree of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons impacted sediments in Okwori is greater than that of Ikarama.

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