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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2013, Article ID 938703, 6 pages
Research Article

Distribution and Fractional Composition of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Roadside Soils

1Kharkiv National Automobile and Highway University, 25 Petrovskoho street, 61002 Kharkiv, Ukraine
2Brandenburg University of Technology at Cottbus, Central Analytical Laboratory, Konrad-Wachsmann-Allee 6, 03046 Cottbus, Germany

Received 23 May 2013; Revised 3 September 2013; Accepted 3 September 2013

Academic Editor: Marco Trevisan

Copyright © 2013 Larysa Mykhailova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations and their fractional composition (medium fraction: n-alkane chain-length C15 to C27, heavy fraction: >C27) were determined at distances from 1 to 60 m from roads and at soil depths from 0.5 to 15 cm. The traffic intensities were up to 25000 vehicles per day. Soil TPH concentrations were highest within 15 m distance (665 and 3198 mg kg−1 at the windward and leeward sides, resp.), followed by a rapid drop to background values beyond (196 and 115 mg kg−1 in 60 m distance at the windward and leeward sides, resp.). The data variability was lowest at distances of 1 m and highest within tree plantations at distances of 15 m from the road. The TPH concentrations decreased with depth but were significantly higher than the background at all depths investigated. A principal component analysis revealed a positive relation between the medium-to-heavy fraction ratio and soil depth. A fractional differentiation of hydrocarbons with distance from road was not observed. It was concluded that the assessment of the potential of hydrocarbons to translocate, accumulate, or degrade in soil necessitates their subdivision into fractions based on their physicochemical and metabolic properties.