Contamination and Source of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon in Water and Wastewater of Isfahan Metropolis

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Shiraz University.

2 MSc. Student, Environmental Geology Department of Earth Sciences, Shiraz University.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Shiraz University.

4 Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Technology, Isfahan.


In order to examine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in surface water and wastewater of Isfahan metropolis, 18 samples were collected sixty kilometers from the center of Isfahan City. The highest level of Total PAH (Σ PAH) occurred in treated wastewater, discharged by wastewater treatment plant of Mobarake steel plant (3.04μg/l). Based on different isomer ratio in most of the samples, pyrolysis was considered to be the possible source of PAH compositions. Profiles of the total carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic PAHs in sampling stations showed that in most samples the concentration of carcinogenic compounds was higher than that of non-carcinogenic ones. PAHs composition, according to the number of rings, displayed the following trend: 4 rings >3 rings> 5, 6 rings > 2 rings. The potentially toxic PAH compositions, in water and wastewater samples, were assessed using TEQ. Pierson correlation coefficient of PAHs in water and wastewater samples indicates that compositions, having the same number of rings, displayed good correlation. Cluster Analysis of water and wastewater samples indicated that the samples belong to three main clusters.