Palm Oil Mill Effluent Effect on soil fertility: a longitudinal assessment of Zea mays plant

Samuel Chibuike Ubani, Onwuneme Chukwudi, Victor Eshu Okpashi, Chigoziri Akudo Osuji, Nwadike, G.E.M Ugochukwu


Background: This research evaluate the growth of maize (Zea mays) on palm oil mill effluent (POME) contaminated soil. The physiochemical properties and heavy metal loads of the soil samples and POME were determined. The growth rates of Zea mays was evaluated on shoot length, leaf length, root length, chlorophyll content, germination time, germination percentage and biomass.

Materials and Methods: The palm oil mill effluent were mixed with the contaminated soil, the un-mixed soil was used as control. Soil dehydrogenase and phosphatase activities were assayed in contaminated and un-contaminated soil using standard methods. The plants were irrigated by serially diluting POME samples.  

Results: The K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, cation exchange capacity and phosphorus content of the POME contaminated soil were significantly (P< 0.05) lower than the control. There was no significant P > 0.05 difference in the C, N, Na+ and organic content of the soil samples. The heavy metals in the POME showed Zn, Cu, Ni and Fe, but Pb, Cd and Cr were absent. POME contaminated soil and the control showed Pb, Zn, Ni and Fe, while Cd and Cr were not detected. The activities of dehydrogenase (0.13±0.57) and phosphatase activity (0.38±0.22) in POME contaminated soil decreased significantly p ≤ 0.05 compared to the dehydrogenase (0.76±0.11) and phosphatase activity (1.35±0.36) in control soil.

Conclusion: POME is a potent pollutant that inhibits the growth of Zea may.


maize (Zea mays), POME, soil enzymes, soil pollution and soil fertility

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2281-4485/7135


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