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A Rapid, Fluorescence-Based Field Screening Technique for Organic Species in Soil and Water Matrices

Abstract

Real-time detection of hydrocarbon contaminants in the environment presents analytical challenges because traditional laboratory-based techniques are cumbersome and not readily field portable. In the current work, a method for rapid and semi-quantitative detection of organic contaminants, primarily crude oil, in natural water and soil matrices has been developed. Detection limits in the parts per million and parts per billion were accomplished when using visual and digital detection methods, respectively. The extraction technique was modified from standard methodologies used for hydrocarbon analysis and provides a straight-forward separation technique that can remove interference from complex natural constituents. For water samples this method is semi-quantitative, with recoveries ranging from 70 % to 130 %, while measurements of soil samples are more qualitative due to lower extraction efficiencies related to the limitations of field-deployable procedures.

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Acknowledgments

The use of trade, product, or firm names in this report is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The tests described and the resulting data presented herein, unless otherwise noted, were obtained from research conducted under the Environmental Quality Technology Program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers by the USAERDC. Permission was granted by the Chief of Engineers to publish this information. The findings of this report are not to be construed as an official Department of the Army position unless so designated by other authorized documents. The authors also thank Aimee Poda and Dale Rosado of the USACE for their editorial comments.

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Correspondence to Anthony J. Bednar.

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Russell, A.L., Martin, D.P., Cuddy, M.F. et al. A Rapid, Fluorescence-Based Field Screening Technique for Organic Species in Soil and Water Matrices. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 773–778 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-016-1771-1

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Keywords

  • Field analysis
  • Oil screening
  • Rapid detection