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Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS) resulting from wood storage and wood treatment facilities for electricity transmission in Swaziland

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dc.contributor.advisor Thwala, J. M. en
dc.contributor.advisor Mearns, K. F. en Van Zuydam, Constance Sthembile en 2009-08-25T10:44:40Z 2009-08-25T10:44:40Z 2009-08-25T10:44:40Z 2007-06-30 en
dc.description.abstract A study was conducted in two sites: one at an electricity storage facility belonging to the Swaziland Electricity Board (SEB) and the other at a facility that belongs to its treated pole supplier, the Thonkwane wood creosote treatment plant. The drainage system of these sites leads to surface waters in rivers. This is a cause of concern since creosote contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are listed as priority pollutants by the US Environmental Protection Agency. They have toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic effects and as a result they pose a threat to human life and the environment. No previous studies have been done on PAHs in Swaziland. The main objective of this study was to determine the impact of the SEB storage facility and the creosote treatment plant by investigating the extent of PAHs in surrounding environments (soil, sediments and surface waters). Preliminary studies were undertaken on the storage facility and the creosote treatment plant. No PAHs were detected from the pole storage facility; therefore the creosote wood treatment facility was selected as the ideal site at which to conduct the research. Soil samples were collected from depths 15 cm and 60 cm at points around the creosote plant, including effluent discharge points. The samples were extracted by solid-phase micro extraction (SPME) and analysed by GC/MS. The GC/MS, incorporating a solid phase micro extraction step, provided detection limits ranging from 0.12 μg/g to 20.08 μg/g. The pollution patterns in the study site were assessed using cluster analysis and principal component analysis. Most of the 16 US EPA-listed priority pollutants were detected from the creosote wood treatment facility. PAHs such as anthracene, fluorene, naphthalene and fluoranthene were dominant in all the sampling sites. The compounds occurred in very high concentrations (0.64, 0.46, 0.27 and 0.26 mg/kg respectively). These compounds are found in pure creosote as determined in the sample taken from the Thonkwane creosote tank site. The highest concentration of PAHs was observed in the soil samples taken next to the road site. The concentrations of the identified PAHs were above the acceptable minimal level allowed in soil by the US EPA and Swaziland Environment Authority (SEA). The levels of the PAHs are also above the recommended US EPA limit in soil, which is 0.1 mg/kg. The results indicated that significant soil pollution was taking place in some of the sampling sites. The top layer (0, 15 cm) contained many PAHs at high levels whilst the 60 cm layer had a lower number of PAHs which were also in low concentrations. This provided an indication that there is no downward movement of PAHs from the surface layer to underground layers. The potential exists for contamination of surface waters when there is runoff from the project area. This is a cause of concern, since both the creosote treatment plant and areas outside the facility are contaminated. Therefore, the site has to be cleaned up, preferably by using a phytoremediation technique. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (x, 112 leaves : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject.ddc 363.7394096887
dc.subject.lcsh Water -- Pollution -- Swaziland -- Management
dc.subject.lcsh Best management practices (Pollution prevention) -- Swaziland
dc.title Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS) resulting from wood storage and wood treatment facilities for electricity transmission in Swaziland en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Environmental Sciences en M. Sc. (Environmental Science) en

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