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pH and Sulphate mass: Intensity factors in investigating sulphatedependent degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Luke N. Ukiwe* and Ugochukwu U. Egereonu

The ability of pH and sulphate masses in influencing the rate of degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in contaminated soil leachate was studied. Results obtained indicated that using 2 g sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) about 14.0 % of 2-methylnaphthalene was degraded as the highest PAH at pH 4.0, while anthracene (1.1 %) was the least degraded PAH. However, using 4 g Na2SO4, 11.5 % of 2-methylnaphthalene was the highest degraded PAH, while fluoranthrene and pyrene were not detected. It was also found that a trend in PAHs degradation was observed as the pH was increased from 2.0, 4.0 and 6.0 using 2 g Na2SO4. Nevertheless, this trend in PAHs degradation was not replicated using 4 g Na2SO4. The two-ring PAHs showed high degradation potential using both Na2SO4 masses. However, it was revealed that increasing the weight of Na2SO4 from 2 to 4 g had no notable effect in PAHs degradation.