Comparative Effects Of Spent Engine Oil And Unused Engine Oil On The Growth And Yield Of Vigna Unguiculata(Cowpea)

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Pages 105-118
Volume 4
Issue 3
Date March, 2015
Keywords Used Engine Oil, Used Engine Oil, V. Unguiculata , Growth Parameters, Concentrations Of Oil, Weeks.

The disposal of Spent Engine Oil and Unused Engine Oil into gutters, water drains, open vacant plots and farms are common practice in Nigeria especially by motor mechanics. This research takes a look into the possible effects of this chemical oil on plants growth, germination and the effects of soil contaminated with spent engine oil after different degree of contamination. Also, its negative impacts on human’s health on consumption of crops grown on such contaminated soil was established as well as creating opportunity for plant breeders in searching for ways of improving cowpea production in oil-producing areas. A total of twenty-seven plastic containers (5 Litres) were filled with 4 kg of sand-loam soil which were mixed with various concentrations of spent engine oil. There were four different concentrations of oil and unused engine oil graded from 25, 50, 75 and 100mg/l of which each treatment has three replicates. The results show that a negative relationship existed between the oil levels in the soil and the growth parameters (plant height, number of leaves, stem girth, leaf area, yellowness of leaves, shedding of leaves, leaves folding, flowering and pod production) measured. The reductions and morphological effects in the growth characteristics measured in the V. unguiculata with spent and unused engine oil increased as the concentration level of the contaminant increases compared to control experiment. The most affected growth parameters occurred with 100mg/l of engine oil on plant height (19.50cm, on the second week), stem girth (0.84cm, on the second week), leaf area (21.40cm2, on the sixth week) while the number of leaves increases with increase in concentration of engine oil on the eight week with a value of 19.00. However, the lowest number of leaves was also recorded for the soil mixed with 100mg/l of engine oil during the second week. This study therefore showed that the presence of the engine oil has great implications on the sustainability of V. unguiculata growth. Meanwhile, the consumption of the contaminated plants by man and animals affects their health, which may eventually lead to their death. This is because of the high level of lead which is above the WHO standard for consumption. Therefore, there is the need for government and appropriate agency to enact a strict law and educate the citizenry on the indiscriminate disposal of these pollutants (spent engine oil and unused engine oil).

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