K.A. Ibe, C.E. Ogwuche


Four sediment samples collected from Ethiope River in Ethiope East Local Governmen Area of Delta State, Nigeria and eighteen different column packing ratios of silica gel and alumina were used in this investigation. The variation of the composition of the stationary phase (Silical gel and alumina, SA) gave different yields of aromatic and saturated hydrocarbons. In all the sediments, the SA(1:2) column length ratio eluted the highest amount of saturated hydrocarbons; sediment 1, 287ppm; sediment11, 347ppm; sediment111, 320ppm and sediment 1V, 337ppm with a mean of 322.15±8.5ppm. The modified SA (2:1) i.e. MSA(2:1) column length ratio eluted the highest amount of aromatic hydrocarbons, 119ppm for sediment 1; 110ppm for sediment11;123ppm for sediment111and 90ppm for sediment 1V with a mean of110.5±18ppm. The modified AS2:1 i.e. MAS(2:1) weight ratio eluted the least amount of saturated hydrocarbon, sediment 1, 22.9ppm; sediment 11, 19ppm; sediment 111, 30ppm and sediment1V, 20ppm with a mean of 23.0±6.1ppm while the SA1:1 weight ratio ratio eluted the least amount of aromatic hydrocarbon, sediment1, 8ppm; sediment11, 3ppm; sediment 111, 7.6ppm and sediment 1V, 12ppm with a mean of 7.7±4.5ppm.  The difference in elution between the column length ratio and column weight ratio was statistically significant at P≤0.05. Therefore, modification of analytical procedures may at times lead to optimized outcomes. These differences in the yields of the aromatic and saturated hydrocarbons are due to the differences in the relative adsorption of the aromatic and saturated hydrocarbons on the stationary phase and the moderating influence of the components of the stationary phase on each other.

 Key words: Ethiope river, column length ratio, weight ratio, elution, optimization.

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