Impact of spent engine oil on soil and the growth of Zea mays seeds

F.O. Uhegbu, E.I. Akubugwo, E.J. Iwealab, O.C. Uhegbu


The impact of waste engine oil on soil and the growth of Zea mays seeds were investigated in this paper. Three concentrations of 500mL, 1000mL, and 1500mL waste engine oil applied to the soil affected the soil and growth of Zea mays seeds. The pH of soil increased from 6.0 (control) to 6.7 (1500mL), moisture content decreased significantly [p<0.05] from 12.0 to 10.9%, while phosphorus decreased significantly [p<0.05] from 35.0 to 20.0 mg/kg. The reductions in the measured parameters were significant at [p<0.05]. Potassium decreased from 0.20+0.01 to 0.18+0.06 umol/kg, magnesium from 2.80 ±0.02 to 1.80±0.01umol/kg, and calcium from 7.40+0.04 to 6.24+ 0.01 umol/kg. Germination of the seed, growth rate and leaf spread were also delayed. This study showed to a great extent that spent engine oil affects vegetative land and suggests that plants could be used as bio-indicators of pollution in oil producing and oil spillage prone areas of the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

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