• Kabiru Adebayo Department of Civil Engineering, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna
  • George Moses Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger, Nigeria
  • John Sani Engbonye Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger, Nigeria
  • Bashir Haruna Ibrahim Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger, Nigeria
  • Fatima Balarabe Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger, Nigeria



Crude oil, Contaminated soils, Electrokinetic remediation, Engineering properties, Filter media, Charcoal, Active carbon, Base course


Research have shown how electrokinetic remediation (EKR) technology attempts to tackle the challenge of soil contamination by crude oil. However, the suitability of the resulting remediated soils for use in road construction have not been well reported. This work investigates the engineering properties of filter media enhanced electrokinetic remediated crude oil contaminated soil (COCS) with a view to ascertain its suitability for use in road construction by comparing the performance of charcoal and active carbon as filter materials. COCS collected at a depth of 1m from the Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company, Kaduna was remediated by using graphite electrodes to pass 1V DC/cm across EKR setups enhanced by incorporating a 1cm thick charcoal and active carbon separately as filter materials across the setups. Average removal efficiencies of 81.4% and 84.6% were obtained against the 78,600 mg/kg oil content of the COCS from charcoal and active carbon filter media enhancements respectively. This showed that active carbon, with higher removal efficiency, is a better filter medium for COCS than charcoal. The compaction and California bearing ratio (CBR) properties of the COCS also improved with the filter media enhanced EKR. However, the CBR values for the filter media enhanced EKR soils only meet the 20% minimum requirements for Type 2 sub-base course materials specified for light trafficked Nigeria roads. As such, charcoal or active carbon filter media enhanced EKR technology can be adopted for remediating COCS for light trafficked Nigeria road construction in areas not subjected to flooding.


Nigerian General Specification, Roads and Bridges 2016. Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja, Nigeria.

Ademila, O. “Engineering evaluation of lateritic soils of failed highway sections in Southwestern Nigeria” Geosciences Research, 2(3), 2017, 7.23006

Babadiya, E. G., and Igwe, E. O. “A geotechnical investigation on the failure of road pavements in Abakaliki, Southeastern Nigeria”, Journal of Mining and Geology, 57(1), 2021, 177 – 191.

Young, E. O., Alexander, O. S., Anulf, S., and Johnbosco, N. “Geological and geotechnical investigation of road failures in Nigeria: a case study of parts of Imo-Abia States, Southeastern Nigeria”, Engineering Research Journal, 1(4), 2021, 1-15.

Ezeagu, C. A., and Ezema, N. M. “Deterioration and failure rates of maintained roads in Nigeria”, Saudi Journal of Civil Engineering, 6(4), 2022, 64-71.

Afolayan, O. D., and Abidoye, A. O. “Causes of failure on Nigerian roads: A review”, Journal of Advancement in Engineering and Technology, 5(4), 2017, 1-5.

Akinwumi, I. I., Diwa, D., and Obianigwe, N. “Effects of crude oil contamination on index properties, strength and permeability of lateritic clay”, International Journal of applied Science and Engineering Research, 3(4), 2014, 816-824.

Ola, S. A. “Need for estimated cement requirement for stabilizing lateritic soil”, Journal of Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 100(2), 1978, 379-388.

Ibrahim, M. A., Maofaq, A. A., and Abdulrahman, H. A. “Long term strength and durability of clayey soil stabilized with lime”, Engineering and Technology Journal, 29(4), 2011, 725-735.

Rahman, Z., Umar, H., and Ahmed, N. “Geotechnical characteristics of oil-contaminated granitic and metasedimentary soils”, Asian journal of applied science, 3(1), 2010, 237-249.

Oyediran, I. A., and Enya, N. I. “Crude oil effects on some engineering properties of sandy alluvial soil”, International Journal of Mining and Geo-Engineering, 55(1), 2021, 7-10.

Al-Qaisee, G. S., Mohammed, A. R., and Mahdi. E. M. “Black oil leakage influence on the physical and engineering properties of Faw soil”, Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University, 55(2), 2020, pp.1-8.

Iloeje, A. F., and Aniago V. “Effect of crude oil on permeability properties of the soil”, International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, 1(1), 2016, 39-43.

Suleiman, A., Salim, I. M., Timothy, A. A., and Abdulrahman, H., Yusuf, B. A., Sadi, I. H. “Effect of crude oil spillage on engineering properties of tropical residual soil”, IOP Conference Series Earth and Environmental Science, 476, 2020, 012048 doi:10.1088/1755-1315/476/1/012048

Karthigeyan, S. and Ramachandran, A. “Physical and engineering properties of oil contaminated clay soil”, International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT), 9(5), 2020, 763- 766.

Swaroop, S. S., and Rani, V. “Effect of oil contamination on geotechnical properties of clayey soil”, International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT), 3(29), 2015, 1-4.

Mohammad, K., and Taghi, E. “The effect of oil contamination on the geotechnical properties of fine-grained soils”, Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal, 21(5), 2012, 655-671, DOI: 10.1080/15320383.2012.672486

Salimnezhad, A., Soltani-Jigheh, H., and Soorki, A. A. “Effects of oil contamination and bioremediation on geotechnical properties of highly plastic clayey soil”, Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 13, 2021, 653-670.

Zulfahmi, A. R., Umar, H., Mohammad, R. T., Norsheila, S. I., and Noorulakma, A. “Influence of oil contamination on geotechnical properties of basaltic residual soil”, American Journal of Applied Sciences, 7(7), 2010, 954-961.

Oyediran, I. A., and Enya, N. I. “Variations in geotechnical characteristics of some crude oil contaminated soils”, Global Journal of Geological Sciences, 18, 2020, 75-88.

Nwachukwu, A. N., Okoro, B. C., Osuagwu, J. C., Nwakwasi, N. L., and Onyechere, I. C. “Index and compaction properties of oil contaminated clay soils in Niger - Delta region of Nigeria”, Saudi Journal of Engineering and Technology, 5(2), 2020, 81-85.

Alfach, M., and Wilkinson, S. “Effect of crude-oil-contaminated soil on the geotechnical behaviour of piles foundation”, Geotechnical Research, 7(2), 2020, 76-89.

Oluremi, J. R., and Osuolale, O. M. “Oil contaminated soil as potential applicable material in civil engineering construction”, Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 4(1), 2014, 87-99.

Rakesh, K. R., and Rani, V. “Effects of used motor oil contamination on sand”, International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET), 4(11), 2017, 1718-1720.

Moses, G., Etim, R. K., Sani, J. E., and Bobai, Y. S. “Geotechnical properties of crude oil incinerated lateritic soil for use in roadwork”, FUW Trends in Science & Technology Journal, 4(1), 2019, 069-074.

Arao, T., Ishikawa, S., Murakami, M., Abe, K., Maejima, Y., and Makino, T. “Heavy metal contamination of agricultural soil and countermeasures in Japan”, Paddy Water Environment, 8(1), 2010, 247–257.

Hashimoto, Y., Matsufuru, H., Takaoka, M., Tanida, H., and Sato, T. “Impacts of chemical amendment and plant growth on lead speciation and enzyme activities in a shooting range soil: an x-ray absorption fine structure investigation”, Journal of Environmental Quality, 38(4), 2009, 1420–1428.

Dermont, G., Bergeron, M., Mercier, G., and RicherLaflèche, M. “Soil washing for metal removal: a review of physical/chemical technologies and field applications”, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 152(1), 2008, 1–31.

Chen, J., Shiyab, S., Han, F. X., Monts, D. L., and Waggoner, C. A. “Bioaccumulation and physiological effects of mercury in Pteris Vittata and Nephrolepis Exaltata”, Ecotoxicol, 18(1), 2009, 110-121.

Virkutyte, J., Sillanpaa, M., and Latostenmaa, P. “Electrokinetic soil remediation-critical overview”, The Science of the Total Environment, 289(1), 2002, 97-121.

Choi, B., Lee, S., and Jho, E. H. “Removal of TPH, UCM, PAHs, and Alk-PAHs in oil-contaminated soil by thermal desorption”, Applied Biological Chemistry, 63, 2020, 83-89.

Sharma, H. D. and Reddy, K. R. “Geoenvironmental Engineering: Site Remediation, Waste Containment, and Emerging Waste Management Technologies”, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2004.

Liu, Y., Chen, J., and Cai, Z. “Removal of copper and nickel from municipal sludge using an improved electrokinetic process”, Chemical Engineering Journal, 307, 2017, 1008-1016.

Bimastyaji, S. R., Agus, J. E., and Qomarudin, H. “Integrating electrokinetic and bioremediat-ion process for treating oil contaminated low permeability soil”, E3S Web of Conferences, 31, 2018, 03005 onf/20183103005

Streche, C., Cocârţă, D. M, Istrate, I., and Badea, A. A. “Decontamination of petroleum contaminated soils using the electrochemical technique: Remediation degree and energy consumption”, Scientific Reports, 8(3), 2018, 272-285 DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-21606-4

Muhsina, M., and Chandrakaran, S. “Electrochemical remediation of oil contami-nated fine-grained soil”, Asian Journal of Engineering and Technology (ISSN: 2321 – 2462) 3(4), 2015, Special issue for ICETTAS’15 301-309.

Yunfeng, X., Yangfan, F., Kaili, W., Wei, X., and Guangren, Q. “Remediation of As/Cr co-contaminated soil by electrokinetic coupled with permeable reactive barrier”, Environmental Engineering Research, 27(3), 2022, 1-11.

Zanjani, A. J., Saeedi, M., and Weng, C. H. “An electrokinetic process coupled activated carbon barrier for nickel removal from kaolinite”, Environment Asia, 5(2), 2012, 28-35.

Hong, L., and Qingmei, L. “Reaction medium for permeable reactive barrier remediation of groundwater polluted by heavy metals”, Frontiers in Environmental Science, 2022, 10:968546. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2022.968546

Li, T. P., Yuan, S. H., Wan, J. Z., and Lu, X. H. “Hydroxypropyl-cyclodextrin enhanced electrokinetic remediation of sediment contaminated with HCB and heavy metals”, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 176, 2010, 306-312.

Cang, L., Zhou, D. M., Wu, D. Y. and Alshawabkeh, A. N. “Coupling electrokinetics with permeable reactive barriers of zero-valent iron for treating a chromium contaminated soil”, Separation Science and Technology, 44(10), 2009, 2188-2202.

Moon, J. W., Moon, H. S., Kim, H., and Roh, Y. “Remediation of TCE-contaminated groundwater using zero valent iron and direct current: experimental results and electron competition model”, Environmental Geology, 48, 2005, 805-817.

Chung, H. I., and Lee, M. H., “A new method for remedial treatment of contaminated clayey soils by electrokinetics coupled with permeable reactive barriers”, Electrochimica Acta, 52, 2007, 3427–3431. 0.1016/j.electacta.2006.08.074

Yu, X., Muhammad, F., Yan, Y., Yu, L., Li, H., Huang, X., Jiao, B., Lu, N., and Li, D. “Effect of chemical additives on electrokinetic remediation of Cr-contaminated soil coupled with a permeable reactive barrier”, Royal Society Open Science, 6, 2019, 182128

Celia, M. M., Antonio, M., José, L. C., Oriol, G., Carlos, A., Adalgisa, T., María, F. R., and Carmine, F. “Removal of transition metals from contaminated aquifers by PRB technology: Performance comparison among reactive materials”, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 2021, 6075. 075

Yue, S., Jie, M., Ganngsen, Y., Shuyu, L., Hanyu, L., Quanwei, S., and Baichun, W. “Comparisons of four methods for measuring total petroleum hydrocarbons and short-term weathering effects in soils contaminated by crude oil and fuel oils”, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 232(381), 2021, 007/s11270-021-05341-7

Cho, K., Myung, E., Kim, H., Purev, O., Park, C., and Choi, N. “Removal of total petroleum hydrocarbons from contaminated soil through microwave irradiation”, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 2020, 5952. doi:10.3390/ijerph17165952

BS 1377 (1990). Methods of Testing Soils for Civil Engineering Purposes, British Standards Institution, 2 Park Street, London.

Meshari, S. A. “Determination of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) in weathered oil contaminated soil”, Environmental Engineering Research, 27(5), 2021, DOI:




How to Cite




Building, Civil & Geotechnical Engineering