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Hydrocarbon Exploration in Peninsular India by Advanced Biochemical Markers Method

Sangeetha T, Elumalai S*, Roop Singh D and Rajesh Kanna G

Hydrocarbons are a linear chain of carbon and hydrogen rich molecules serve as fuel from fossil source from the deep underground. Due to rapid population explosion followed by dynamic development in the Industrial sector, the Indian sub-continent is spending lot of money on energy to the Middle East Countries. Therefore, exploration of hydrocarbon rich regions within our country is one of the needful mission to cut-short the cost of fuel. As a novel theme, the hydrocarbon exploration study was carried out at five different locations each for freshwater site (Cauvery Riverbed region) and Marine site (Chennai Coastal region). About 100 g of soil samples from ten different sampling sites were collected by digging the ground up to three feet deep in both the riverbed and marine coastal sites. Then the soil samples were analyzed for different physio-chemical parameters such as pH, moisture content, nitrogen, potassium, sodium, magnesium phosphorous, total organic carbon, Sulphur, manganese, zinc, copper, molybdenum and nickel. For hydrocarbon analysis, the soil samples were subjected to hydrocarbon extraction by Soxhlet extraction method and analyzed by GC-MS by using standards for polyaromatic hydrocarbons including Naphthalene, Acenaphthylene, 2-Bromo-Naphthalene, Acenaphthene, Fluorene, Phenanthrene, Anthracene, Pyrene, Fluoranthene, Chrysene, Benz [a] anthracene, Benzo [b] fluoranthene, Benzo [ghi] perylene, Dibenz [a,h] anthracene and Indeno [1,2,3-cd] pyrene. The final result confirms that the hydrocarbon content was high in the soil samples of Chennai Coastal sites than the Cauvery freshwater riverbed regions. This may be due to high biochemical depositions of dead particles and algae in the sediments of marine coastal regions for a very long period. And this is a preliminary study to explore hydrocarbons in the soil sediments by exploring hydrocarbons from small pits as biochemical markers.