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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 160360, 9 pages
Research Article

Visible and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Analysis of a Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon in Soils

Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK

Received 12 August 2013; Accepted 2 October 2013

Academic Editors: W. Bai, H. M. Conesa, S. Ersahin, P. C. McGuire, and N. Tomasi

Copyright © 2013 Reuben N. Okparanma and Abdul M. Mouazen. 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.


Visible and near-infrared (VisNIR) spectroscopy is becoming recognised by soil scientists as a rapid and cost-effective measurement method for hydrocarbons in petroleum-contaminated soils. This study investigated the potential application of VisNIR spectroscopy (350–2500 nm) for the prediction of phenanthrene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), in soils. A total of 150 diesel-contaminated soil samples were used in the investigation. Partial least-squares (PLS) regression analysis with full cross-validation was used to develop models to predict the PAH compound. Results showed that the PAH compound was predicted well with residual prediction deviation of 2.0–2.32, root-mean-square error of prediction of 0.21–0.25 mg kg−1, and coefficient of determination ( ) of 0.75–0.83. The mechanism of prediction was attributed to covariation of the PAH with clay and soil organic carbon. Overall, the results demonstrated that the methodology may be used for predicting phenanthrene in soils utilizing the interrelationship between clay and soil organic carbon.