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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015 Aug;22(16):12029-34. doi: 10.1007/s11356-015-4465-z. Epub 2015 Apr 15.

Identification of refined petroleum products in contaminated soils using an identification index for GC chromatograms.

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Center for Water Resource Cycle, Green City Technology Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul, 136-792, Republic of Korea.


Hydrocarbons found in the environment are typically characterized by gas chromatography (GC). The shape of the GC chromatogram has been used to identify the source of petroleum contamination. However, the conventional practice of simply comparing the peak patterns of source products to those of environmental samples is dependent on the subjective decisions of individual analysts. We have developed and verified a quantitative analytical method for interpreting GC chromatograms to distinguish refined petroleum products in contaminated soils. We found that chromatograms for gasoline, kerosene, and diesel could be divided into three ranges with boundaries at C6, C8, C16, and C26. In addition, the relative peak area (RPA(GC)) of each range, a dimensionless ratio of the peak area within each range to that of the total range (C6-C26), had a unique value for each petroleum product. An identification index for GC chromatograms (ID(GC)), defined as the ratio of RPA(GC) of C8-C16 to that of C16-C26, was able to identify diesel and kerosene sources in samples extracted from artificially contaminated soils even after weathering. Thus, the ID(GC) can be used to effectively distinguish between refined petroleum products in contaminated soils.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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