Introduction to Hanby's Chemical Reaction Spectrophotometry (CRS) and The Hydrocarbon ID

Poster Presentation

Prepared by C. Fator, R. Oswalt, E. Ricco, T. Large
Hanby PetroAnalysis, 1772 W. Sam Houston Parkway N, Houston, TX, 77043, United States

Contact Information:; 713-468-3898


Our company has been around for the last 30 years as an environmental company. As Hanby Environmental, we manufacture TPH Field Test Kits for the immediate analysis of water and soil samples. In a matter of 4 minutes for soil and 6 minutes for water, you will know the concentration level for the hydrocarbon or contaminate. This very economical quantification and qualification have been proven to be an extremely valuable tool the world over on every major oil spill response and on remediation projects. By independent studies performed by the US EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers, both found that the results per the Hanby method correlated to laboratory results within a variance of 10%, which is 2.5x better than the acceptable variance for field analysis of 25%.

The Hanby method is a visual colorimetric method utilizing the human eye to compare the sample results to the color calibration photos included in the kits with the color indicating the hydrocarbon or contaminant and the hue or lightness or darkness providing the concentration level thereof. More recently, rebranded under Hanby PetroAnalysis, we have developed a new portable and field-ready instrument called the Hydrocarbon ID that standardizes the result reading, effectively replacing the subjectivity of human eyes with that of a computer eye by the use of a uv/vis spectrometer. Through this process, we put a lab in the field immediately obtaining results as accurate or more than that of a laboratory. The uv-vis spectrometer provides a unique identifying spectral curve and then an area under the curve calculation is made to get an exact concentration level. The unique spectral curve identifier is in line with DNA analysis and fingerprinting of hydrocarbons including crude oils.

Our chemical reaction produces robust colors by the excitement of aromatics that make up between 3-30% of a crude oil's makeup. Reading these results from samples of water, soil, cuttings, drilling mud/fluids or core samples, we are able to use the aromatics as the marker compounds to fingerprint the hydrocarbons including crude oils. This is a revolutionary new technology utilizing molecular spectroscopy in the field or at the wellhead. The numerous applications for this new technology are still being uncovered all the time.

The new portable optical system has been developed for surface data analysis, which produces unique spectral fingerprints that are used to identify and quantify hydrocarbons found in drill cuttings, sidewall cores, fluids or water immediately at a drill site. Correspondence of the chemical bond energy involved in typical electrophilic alkylations of the Friedel-Crafts type and the spectral absorption of the chromophores has led to studies to determine spectral characteristics such as absorption at specific frequencies. Results of experiments and analysis by Hanby, Fator and Oswalt have shown that unique repeatable curves (“fingerprints”) are generated by a new spectrophotometer especially designed and calibrated for Chemical Reaction Spectrophotometry ("CRS"). The chemical extraction and the corresponding analysis, which takes less than ten minutes to accomplish, generates curves that are used to identify and quantify each of the specific aromatics and/or hydrocarbon types found in a sample. This method has been shown to work in instances in which fluorescence fails. This method of analysis can be performed on samples of water, soil, drilling fluids or mud, cuttings and cores and can be performed anywhere there is a flat surface--be it in the field or in a laboratory setting. This real-time laboratory quality analysis done anywhere is disruptive and game changing technology puts a lab in the field.