Organic geochemical approach in the identification of oil-type pollutants in water and sediment of the River Ibar

Zoran Milićević, Dragan Marinović, Gordana Gajica, Milica Kašanin-Grubin, Verka Jovanović, Branimir Jovančičević


In this paper an applied organic geochemical approach in studying the nature of organic matter (OM) in water and sediments of the River Ibar (upsteream and downstream of towns Kosovska Mitrovica and Kraljevo) was used. A forensic approach that relies on the fact that the composition of OM of recent sediments and oil varies due to geological age and maturity was applied. The content of bitumen, its group composition of saturated, aromatic and NSO compounds (nitrogen, sulphur, and oxygen compounds) and the distribution of n-alkanes in saturated fractions identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (in almost all samples incorporated into the colloidal micelles formed by water and NSO compounds) could not answer the question whether OM in isolated extracts has native or anthropogenic origin. However, the presence of sterane and terpane, with the distribution of structural and stereochemical isomers characteristic of oil, as a form of most matture OM in sediments, unambiguously confirmed presence of oil type pollutants in anlayzed samples. Based on significant differences in the distributions of these polycyclic alkane (water-water, sediment-sediment and water-sediment), it was concluded that they have more than one source of pollution, and that the River Ibar is permanently exposed to this form of pollution.


petroleum pollutants; biomarkers; urban pollution; environment


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