Analysis of TPHg and TPHd in soil by Portable GC-MS

Field Sampling, Measurement and Sensor Technology
Oral Presentation

Prepared by R. Mohler1, B. Morlan2, K. Kong2, D. Kelterborn3, C. Espino Devine3
1 - Chevron ETC, 100 Chevron Way, 50-1271, Richmond, CA, 94801, United States
2 - Chevron ETC, 100 Chevron Way, Richmond, CA, 94801, United States
3 - Chevron ETC, 6001 Bollinger Canyon Rd., San Ramon, CA, 94583, United States

Contact Information:; 510-242-4939


There are several measurement technologies available that can quantify Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in soils, however, these methods are spectroscopic methods and are not able to divide the TPH into gasoline range (TPHg) or diesel (TPHd) range material. The widely accepted method for environmental applications for quantifying TPHg and TPHd in soil is defined as solvent extraction (methanol, dichloromethane or hexane) followed by analysis on a gas chromatograph with a flame ionization detector (GC-FID) as described in EPA method 8015. In order for a method to be field amenable, there has to be minimal use of solvents and the method would have to be rapid (i.e. minutes) in order to allow for decisions made in the field on where to investigate environmental impacts. Portable GCs have recently become available that are amenable to field use due to rapid analysis time, low carrier gas consumption, compatibility with headspace measurements, and battery operation. At Chevron, we recently evaluated the use of a portable GC-MS for the quantification of TPHg and TPHd in soils from various sites. The field set-up, results and lessons learned will be presented.