Fast Semi-Automated Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons Cleanup and Analysis

Shale Oil & Gas
Poster Presentation

Prepared by T. Hall, R. Addink
Fluid Management Systems, 900 Technology Park Dr, Billerica, Massachusetts, 01821, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 617-393-2396


Soil contamination from gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, or jet fuel leaks or spills is a common occurrence and a global environmental concern. Tanker transfer spills, truck transport spills and leakage from underground storage tanks continue to be sources of petroleum contamination. Recent improvements in transfer techniques, tank designs and materials have significantly reduced the danger of spills and leakage, but problems with installation or lack of operational training and maintenance procedures continue to cause environmental contamination.
These type of contaminations and spills are often analyzed for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons. TPH is the sum of Volatile Petroleum Hydrocarbons (VPH) and Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons (EPH). Extracts can be analyzed for TPH using FID. In this study we present results of analysis with GC-FID of various TPH extracts.
Extracts underwent cleanup using a semi-automated system with a rotary workstation using a vacuum pump to perform the entire sample cleanup in two stages with a few simple steps. It uses a single pre-packaged 6 g neutral silica column for cleanup. In the first stage the column is conditioned with dichloromethane and hexane (both 30 mLs). In stage 2 the columns are eluted with a 25-30 mL mix of 1:1 dichloromethane and hexane which is collected. After automated concentration/evaporation to 1 mL samples were analyzed with GC-FID.
Results are based on both area counts under wide peaks and individually separated components.