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Radioactivity in Oily Sludge and Produced Waste Water from Oil: Environmental Concerns and Potential Remedial Measures

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Author Info

  • Avin E. Pillay

    ()
    (Chemistry Department, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, UAE)

  • Fadhil M. Salih

    ()
    (C/o Department of Clinical and Biomedical Physics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 35, Al Khoud, 123, Oman)

  • Muthana I. Maleek

    ()
    (Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Wasit, Kut, Wasit, 4256, Iraq)

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    Abstract

    Produced water separated from oil is usually returned to the environment and could permeate through the water table. If such water is contaminated with radioactive substances, it could create a definite threat to the water supply, especially in arid regions where ground water and overhead streams are sources of potable water. Low-level radioactive contamination of oily sludge is equally hazardous and also leads to detrimental pollution of water resources. We investigated the distribution of 226 Ra, 40 K and 228 Ac in produced waste water and oily sludge and found abnormal levels of radioactivity. A total of 90 ground wastewater samples were collected from different sites for a period of one year. The presence of these radionuclides was identified by their characteristic gamma rays. The detection system consisted of a high-purity germanium detector. Our results show that about 20% of the samples exhibited 20–60 Bq/L radioactivity and ~6% of the samples exceeded 60 Bq/L. Roughly 70% of the experimental samples fell in the range of 2–20 Bq/L, which still exceeded the maximum admissible drinking-water limit 0.2 Bq/L.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (March)
    Pages: 890-901

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:890-901:d:7719

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    Related research

    Keywords: radioactivity; oil sludge; waste water; gamma rays;

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