n-Alkanes in Surficial Soils of Basrah City, Southern Iraq  

Al-Saad H.T.1 , Farid W A.2 , Ateek A.A.3 , Sultan A.W. A.3 , Ghani A.A.1 , Mahdi S.1
1. Dept. Of Marine Environmental Chemistry- Marine Science Center, University of Basrah, Iraq
2. College of Health and Medical Technology, Southern Technical University, Basrah, Iraq
3. Technical College, Southern Technical University, Basrah, Iraq
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 52   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2015.05.0052
Received: 06 Jul., 2015    Accepted: 07 Aug., 2015    Published: 07 Sep., 2015
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Al-Saad H.T., Farid W A., Atik A.A., Sultan A.W. A,Ghani,A.A,and Mahdi S., 2015, n-Alkanes in surficial soils of Basrah city, Southern Iraq, International Journal of Marine Science, 5(52): 1-8 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2015.05.0052)


A study has been carried out to determine the distribution of aliphatic hydrocarbons in surface soils of Basrah city, southern Iraq. One hundred twenty eight surface soil samples (0-10 cm depth) were collected from sixteen sites around Basrah city covering commercial ports, industrial and oil operational locations, urban and rural areas. Hydrocarbons were extracted with mixture of benzene: methanol using soxhlet technique and fractioned with silica-alumina column. Characterization of individual hydrocarbon components was carried out using gas chromatography-flame ionization detector. Average of the total identified n-alkanes concentrations in soil samples were found ranging from 03.575 to 21.266 µg g-1 dry weight. Carbon Preference Index (CPI) values for n-alkanes varied between 0.893 and 5.57. The isoprenoids, pristane and phytane were detected in most soil samples. Unresolved Complex Mixture (UCM) values ranged from 5.2 to 12.3 µg g-1 dry weight. No significant correlation between soil , % Total Organic Carbon (% TOC) and the concentrations of n-alkanes was observed. Results indicated that the aliphatic hydrocarbons were from both biogenic and anthropogenic sources. Generally, the results show that the total n-alkanes concentrations were higher in winter and autumn than that recorded for spring and summer.

Soil pollution; n-alkanes; Gas Chromatography; Basrah city
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