An Overview of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons

  • Saranya Kuppusamy
  • Naga Raju Maddela
  • Mallavarapu Megharaj
  • Kadiyala Venkateswarlu


Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) are one of the common contaminants in the environment. They include a broad family of several hundred hydrocarbon compounds that originally come from crude oil which is used to make petroleum products. The widespread use of crude oil and other petroleum products for transportation, heating, and industry leads to the release of these petroleum products into the environment through long-term leakage, accidental spills, or operational failures. Since there are so many different chemicals in crude oil and other petroleum products, it is not practical to measure each one separately. However, it is useful to measure the amount of TPHs at a contaminated site. The TPHs include both volatile and extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (VPHs and EPHs) encompassing the gasoline range organics (>C6–C10), diesel range organics (>C11–C28), and oil range organics (C29–C35). Gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuels, jet fuels, Stoddard solvent, mineral-based motor oils, fuel oils No. 5 and 6, hexane, benzene, toluene, xylenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are the important chemicals that constitute TPHs. These chemicals have carbon ranges between ≥C5 and ≤C35. Detailed information about each of these chemicals included in TPHs is presented in this chapter.


Crude oil Diesel Petroleum hydrocarbons PAHs Sources of TPHs 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Environmental StudiesAnna UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud y Departamento de investigaciónUniversidad Técnica de ManabíPortoviejoEcuador
  3. 3.Global Centre for Environmental RemediationThe University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  4. 4.NelloreIndia

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