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Ecology Pollution In New Hampshire

Hydrocarbon pollution of environment in New Hampshire is one of the priorities due to huge scale of loss of petroleum products in almost all operations carried out with them: from production to production of final products of processing and storage. Currently, there are large-scale pollution of geological environment and soils in areas of oil storages, transshipment bases, refineries, fuel-filling complexes, military facilities.

Oil production is accompanied by leaks and spills during emergencies in oil fields, transportation by emergencies in pipeline transport, railway, river and sea transport. However, despite of oil pollution scale, to date models of oil distribution and oil refinery in environment are very imperfect and underestimate many factors.

Oil conditions

Getting into soil, oil can be in following conditions:

  • In liquid mobile state in free, dissolved water or water-emulsion phase in pores.
  • In free motionless state in pores and cracks, playing role of cement between soil particles and aggregates.
  • In sorbed state associated with organic and/or organo-mineral mass.
  • In form of continuous layer on soil surface.
The result of soil contamination with oil is formation of contaminated soils. Soils contaminated with petroleum products by environmental protection documents are unequivocally prescribed to refer to waste in form of sludge oil. If content of NP exceeds 15%, waste of 3rd class of danger is formed, with lower content – of 4th class. Mechanisms for formation of groundwater sludge are very complex from physico-chemical positions and depend on many reasons.

In reality, composition of sludge is determined by many factors: composition of oil itself, characteristics of soil, influence of weather conditions, "age" of pollution, participation of living organisms in processes of oil transformation. It is diversity of these factors that determines complexity of creating models of oil migration and transformation: in practice, true picture of spread oil pollution of soils and soils may differ significantly from relatively simple diffusion models.

Depending on soil nature and composition of oil or oil refining, resulting oil sludge is characterized by:

  • Various spill propagation rates.
  • Various depths of oil pollution penetration.
  • Various volumes of sludge.
  • Different composition and chemical-toxicological properties of sludge.
  • Different rates of natural degradation of oil pollution.

How is pollution evaluated?

When assessing consequences of accidents at conduits, area of ​​pollution is usually estimated by area of ​ oil spill, ignoring salt contamination. On well-drained upland land, salt is washed out for 1–2 years, and in drainless swamps they can remain major toxicant for decades after elimination of oil pollution. Associated salt contamination during oil spill pipelines is almost always present and makes significant adjustments to toxic effect of oil spill on biocenoses and effectiveness of reclamation of oil-polluted lands.

It was revealed that oil in first days of pollution inhibits biological activity, although number of microorganisms, especially oil-oxidizing, can be quite high. As result of study of microbiological oxidation of aliphatic hydrocarbons, following features of this process were established:

  • Alkanes are assimilated by many microorganisms — yeast, microscopic mycelial fungi, and bacteria, which use them as sole source of nutrition.
  • Alkanes of light fractions of oil with short carbon chain aren`t assimilated due to their toxicity, but can be oxidized; longer chain hydrocarbons increase yield of oxidation products, but oxidation rate decreases.
  • Saturated hydrocarbons degrade easier than unsaturated ones.
  • Branched chain compounds (isoalkanes) oxidize less rapidly than straight chain hydrocarbons.


Thus, we can draw the following conclusions about pollution in New Hampshire:

  • The largest volumes of oil sludge are formed in podzolic soils, which is associated with their high permeability and sorption capacity.
  • Alluvial soils intensively pass oil pollution due to high vertical permeability.
  • Surface-podzolic and alluvial soils are more resistant to oil pollution, since their properties contribute to self-purification and removal of oil and oil products from soil profile.
  • Gley and marsh soils have specific mechanical and physicochemical properties that determine their instability to pollution and oil removal, which accumulate in upper horizons and decompose very slowly.
This two articles will be interesting for you, because here different problems of pollution are considered - and