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Leaking Underground Fuel Tanks (LUFT) – Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH)

Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) analyses are required by regulatory agencies to evaluate subsurface contamination. These analyses are needed to assess the subsurface contamination stemming from leaking underground fuel tanks (LUFT), spills, and product delivery lines.  Evaluating the extent of contamination by TPH requires the following considerations in the field:

  • Type of hydrocarbon contamination
  • Age of the hydrocarbon
  • Type of matrix (water, soil, sludge)
  • Distribution of hydrocarbon
  • Limitations of the TPH analytical method chosen

The following list of methods are available at ATL to determine hydrocarbon contamination in different matrices.  EPA Methods 8021B and 8260B can be used as confirmatory methods to meet regulatory requirements. Method detection limits are given for each procedure and represent Federal requirements.

 


 

TPH as BTEX/Gasoline
Water:  Modified EPA 5030B/8015B
Solid Waste: Modified EPA 5030B,5035//8015B/8021B

This method uses a purge and trap extraction (EPA 5030B) accompanied by a gas chromatograph (GC) coupled to a photoionization detector (PID) and a flame ionization detector (FID). Quantitation of the specific aromatic hydrocarbons (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes) and non-specific hydrocarbons C4 through C12, is performed. The method detection limit for BTEX is 5 ug/kg (ppb) in solid waste, and 0.5 ug/L (ppb) in water. The PQL for Gasoline is 1.0 mg/kg (ppm) in solid waste and 0.2 mg/L (ppm) in water for regular level analysis. For low level analysis of Gasoline the PQL is 0.05 mg/L (ppm).

Advantage: This method is used to evaluate the lighter hydrocarbon constituents that elute in the temperature range of 50 °C to 175 °C.

Disadvantage: This method does not determine heavier hydrocarbon constituents or crude oil products.

 

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TPH as Gasoline, Jet Fuel and Diesel
Water:  Modified EPA 3510C/8015B
Solid Waste: Modified EPA 3550B/8015B

For this method, sonication extraction (EPA 3550B) is used for solids and liquid/liquid extraction (EPA 3510C) for water, accompanied by a gas chromatograph (GC) coupled to a flame ionization detector (FID) followed by quantitation of the hydrocarbons C16 through C28. The PQL is 1.0 mg/kg (ppm) in solid waste and 0.2 mg/L (ppm, regular level analysis) and 0.05 mg/L for low level analysis for one liter water sample volume.

Advantage: This method allows quantitation of hydrocarbon constituents typical of petroleum products (gasoline, jet fuel, diesel).

Disadvantage: This method does not allow for identification of target compounds as determined with a mass spectrometer detector (MSD).

 

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Aromatic Volatile Organics
Water:  EPA 5030B/8021B
Solid Waste: EPA 5030B,5035/8021B

This method employs purge and trap extraction (EPA 5030B, 5035) accompanied by a gas chromatograph (GC) coupled to a photoionization detector (PID) followed by quantitation of the aromatic hydrocarbons. The PQL is 5 ug/kg (ppb) in solid waste and 0.5 ug/L (ppb) in water.

Advantage: This method has low detection limits for high risk and priority pollutants.
Disadvantage: This method does not give aggregate quantitation of miscellaneous hydrocarbons and is limited to volatile constituents.

 

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Volatile Organic Compounds
Water: EPA 5030B, 8260B
Solid Waste: EPA 5030B, 5035/8260B

This method employs purge and trap extraction (EPA 5030B or 5035) accompanied by a gas chromatograph - mass spectrometer (GC/MS) followed by quantitation of the volatile hydrocarbons. The method detection limit is 5 ug/kg (ppb) in solid waste and 5 ug/L (ppb) in water (for regular level analysis) and 0.5 mg/L for low level analysis.

Advantage: This method permits identification and quantitation of priority pollutants, and the ability to identify unknown compounds.

Disadvantage: This method does not give aggregate quantitation of the miscellaneous hydrocarbons and is limited to the volatile constituents.

 

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TRPH by
Water: 
Solid Waste:

Description:

Advantage:

Disadvantage:


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