Ohimain et al
Greener Journal of Physical Sciences Vol. 2 (4), pp. 131-137, October, 2012.
ISSN: 2276-7851 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 100812098
Some Selected Physico-Chemical and Heavy Metal Properties of Palm Oil Mill Effluents
Elijah I. Ohimain*, Enetimi I. Seiyaboh, Sylvester C. Izah, Ejiroghene V. Oghenegueke and Glory T. Perewarebo
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island,
Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author: eohimain @yahoo. com
This study investigated the physico-chemical and heavy
metals parameters found in palm oil milling effluents (POME).
The POME samples were randomly collected aseptically from
eight smallholders milling sites that generated POME out of
the eleven visited at Elele, Rivers State, Nigeria. The
physico-chemical and heavy metals parameters of the POME
samples were determined using standard analytical
procedures. The results of the physico-chemical analysis
were obtained in the following range; pH (5.213 – 6.357),
dissolved oxygen (DO) (2.567 – 4.127mg/l), biological oxygen
demand (BOD) (254 – 1541mg/l), chemical oxygen demand (COD)
(1231 – 2422 mg/l), phosphorus (P) (5.267 – 8.682 mg/l),
potassium (K) (9.533 – 29.143mg/l), nitrogen (N) (7.550 –
20.653 mg/l) and oil and grease (41.667 – 98.167mg/l).
Analysis of variance showed that there were significant
differences (P < 0.05) in the pH, DO, COD, K, N, and oil and
grease but no significant difference (P > 0.05) in BOD and
phosphorous levels. The concentration of heavy metals in the
POME samples were found in the following range; iron (1.8120
– 13.8127mg/l), Chromium (Cr) (0.6053 – 1.6683 mg/l), copper
(Cu) (0.6143 – 1.6093mg/l), and cadmium (Cd) (0.0040 –
0.0231mg/l). Analysis of variance showed that there were
significant differences (P < 0.05) in Cu, Fe and Cr level
but no significant difference (P > 0.05) in Cd level. Due to
the high BOD, COD and oil and grease levels in POME, it is
preferable to recycle POME rather than discharge. This is
the current practice in most of the oil mills at Elele.
Key words: heavy metal, palm oil milling effluents, physico-chemical parameters, smallholders.