Petroleum hydrocarbons are common site pollutants and are often key drivers in the investigation and remediation of contaminated sites. They consist of a broad family of chemicals that originally come from crude oil, and range from light and volatile liquids to thick, dark liquids, or even solids.
They enter the environment from various sources, including:
- Leaking underground storage tanks containing gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation fuel, hydraulic fluids and other oil products
- Spills from drilling, pipelines, tankers and refineries
Hydrocarbons can cause several human health problems, including eye and skin irritations, respiratory difficulties, cancers, and damage to the central nervous system.
Historical petroleum hydrocarbon analysis consisted mainly of total hydrocarbon analyses based on the potential products present. These include volatile petroleum hydrocarbons (often referred to as gasoline range organics or GRO) and semivolatile petroleum hydrocarbons (often referred to as diesel range organics or DRO). We offer those traditional testing methods in most of our laboratories around the world.
Today, petroleum hydrocarbon testing no longer relies solely on total hydrocarbon analyses. Many local and national authorities require more specific hydrocarbon analysis to measure specific fractions or even specific compounds. This provides better data on source, potential health effects, and options for specific site remediation.
SGS hydrocarbons testing services
We offer a comprehensive range of testing services against different regional requirements. Analysis often uses fractionation techniques to separate contaminants by compound type (aliphatic vs. aromatic), carbon range or specific compounds, which are indicative of the source of the hydrocarbons. TPH data will also determine the need for further testing for volatiles and semi-volatiles.
Why choose SGS?
With over 6,000 environmental scientists around the globe, we have local experts, backed by global knowledge, who can help you choose the appropriate methods for achieving your project’s objectives.
For more information on hydrocarbons testing services, contact your local SGS office.