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Chemometric analysis of ecological toxicants in petrochemical and industrial environments

Olawoyin, Richard, Heidrich, Brenden, Oyewole, Samuel, Okareh, Oladapo T., McGlothlin, Charles W.
Chemosphere 2014 v.112 pp. 114-119
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), adults, cadmium, chemical industry, chemometrics, children, chromium, copper, correlation, environmental assessment, environmental protection, heavy metals, human health, iron, lead, models, molecular weight, multivariate analysis, petroleum, pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, principal component analysis, risk, river deltas, toxic substances, toxicity, zinc, Nigeria
The application of chemometrics in the assessment of toxicants, such as heavy metals (HMs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) potentially derived from petrochemical activities in the microenvironment, is vital in providing safeguards for human health of children and adults residing around petrochemical industrial regions. Several multivariate statistical methods are used in geosciences and environmental protection studies to classify, identify and group prevalent pollutants with regard to exhibited trends. Chemometrics can be applied for toxicant source identification, estimation of contaminants contributions to the toxicity of sites of interest, the assessment of the integral risk index of an area and provision of mitigating measures that limit or eliminate the contaminants identified. In this study, the principal component analysis (PCA) was used for dimensionality reduction of both organic and inorganic substances data in the environment, which are potentially hazardous. The high molecular weight (HMW) PAHs correlated positively with stronger impact on the model than the lower molecular weight (LMW) PAHs, the total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs), PAHs and BTEX correlate positively in the F1 vs F2 plot indicating similar source contributions of these pollutants in the environmental material. Cu, Cr, Cd, Fe, Zn and Pb all show positive correlation in the same space indicating similar source of contamination. Analytical processes involving environmental assessment data obtained in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, confirmed the usefulness of chemometrics for comprehensive ecological evaluation.