Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 11, pp 7579–7591 | Cite as

GC estimation of organic hydrocarbons that threaten shallow Quaternary sandy aquifer Northwestern Gulf of Suez, Egypt

  • M. F. ZawrahEmail author
  • M. A. Ebiad
  • A. M. Rashad
  • E. El-Sayed
  • Moustafa Gamal Snousy
  • M. A. Tantawy


Soil and groundwater contamination is one of the important environmental problems at petroleum-related sites, which causes critical environmental and health defects. Severe petroleum hydrocarbon contamination from coastal refinery plant was detected in a shallow Quaternary sandy aquifer is bordered by Gulf in the Northwestern Gulf of Suez, Egypt. The overall objective of this investigation is to estimate the organic hydrocarbons in shallow sandy aquifers, released from continuous major point-source of pollution over a long period of time (91 years ago). This oil refinery contamination resulted mainly in the improper disposal of hydrocarbons and produced water releases caused by equipment failures, vandalism, and accidents that caused direct groundwater pollution or discharge into the gulf. In order to determine the fate of hydrocarbons, detailed field investigations were made to provide intensive deep profile information. Eight composite randomly sediment samples from a test plot were selected for demonstration. The tested plot was 50 m long × 50 m wide × 70 cm deep. Sediment samples were collected using an American auger around the point 29° 57′ 33″ N and 32° 30′ 40″ E in 2012 and covered an area of 2,500 m2 which represents nearly 1/15 of total plant area (the total area of the plant is approximately 3.250 km2). The detected total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) were 2.44, 2.62, 4.54, 4.78, 2.83, 3.22, 2.56, and 3.13 wt%, respectively. TPH was calculated by differences in weight and subjected to gas chromatography (GC). Hydrocarbons were analyzed on Hewlett–Packard (HP-7890 plus) gas chromatograph equipped with a flame ionization detector (FID). The percentage of paraffine of the investigated TPH samples was 7.33, 7.24, 7.58, 8.25, 10.25, 9.89, 14.77, and 17.53 wt%, respectively.


GC Soil pollution TPHs Gulf of Suez Quaternary sandy aquifer 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. F. Zawrah
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. A. Ebiad
    • 2
  • A. M. Rashad
    • 2
  • E. El-Sayed
    • 3
  • Moustafa Gamal Snousy
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. A. Tantawy
    • 5
  1. 1.National Research Center, Center of ExcellenceNano GroupCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Analysis and Evaluation DepartmentEgyptian Petroleum Research InstituteCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Faculty of Science, Geology DepartmentEl-Minia UniversityEl-MiniaEgypt
  4. 4.Petrotread co.CairoEgypt
  5. 5.Faculty of Science, Chemistry DepartmentEl-Minia UniversityEl-MiniaEgypt

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