People all over the world suffer from certain illnesses such as skin disease, cancer as well as liver, kidney and skin damage. Some of these diseases are believed to be associated with certain trace metal. Trace metals are present in plant and animal cells and tissues as they are necessary part of nutrition and physiology. Ingestion of, or exposure to, excess quantities of these metals is often toxic. However, insufficient plasma of tissue levels of certain trace metals e.g. iron (Fe) can cause pathology as well. Trace metals can be found in many chemicals amongst those is fuel oil. Many factories, industries, power stations etc, make use of large quantities of fuel oil in generating energy, which necessitates thorough investigation of its use and impact to the environment. The Kingtom Power Plant, which is situated at May Park, Kingtom, Freetown, Sierra Leone, was used as source of study. This power plant is situated at a point whose environs is highly populated with houses, schools, hospital, playing field etc, and as such tends to pose threats to humans as a result of exhaust gases with trace metals given off into the atmosphere after combustion. The current study attempts to measure the concentration of heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu, As) present in exhaust gases emitted from the Kingtom oil-fueled power plant. Diesel and Heavy fuel oil (HFO) samples (used and unused) were collected from the Kingtom power plant and acid digested followed by spectrophotometric determination of concentration of traceheavy metals. The investigation revealed that there are significant quantities of trace metals in the fuels. Iron has the highest concentration in the fuel samples. The result also showed that arsenic was not present in any of the fuel samples.
Keywords: Environment, diesel, heavy fuel oil, toxic, spectrophotometer.