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Standard probes may be employed to document field conditions, such as p H, conductivity and redox potential during sampling events and used with laboratory data to evaluate the petroleum-degradation history and thus release modes.An indicator to estimate release timeframes is woody vegetation.Here we discuss key petroleum components that aid in reconstructing the release and identifying potential responsible parties when subsurface conditions are known.Received 18 January 2016; accepted 23 February 2016; published 26 February 2016 1.Petroleum releases principally weather through evaporation, dissolution (“water washing”) and biodegradation  .Weathering can be pronounced on an LNAPL’s upper and lower interfaces because these surface areas may afford greater interaction with soil gas, bacteria, and water.Our experience shows that subsurface petroleum plumes with constant spatial chemical compositions are suggestive of catastrophic releases, whereas varying compositions imply chronic releases or releases of several different products of the same general type.Important to the analysis is identifying the petroleum type released.
Identification is crucial to evaluate the release mode because petroleum chemistry changes with age and in response to ambient conditions.
When the LNAPL is identified, deviations between the spectral peaks and standards can yield information on weathering and refinery processes.
These data are significant because it constrains how quantitative data can be interpreted.
Cores can be analyzed to identify when contaminants entered roots through correlations with annual growth rings  -  .
However, few laboratories perform these tests and a cost-benefit analysis should be performed before developing costly studies. The Purpose of Laboratory Analyses The conventional semi-quantitative approach to identify unknown LNAPLs is to determine its chemical spectrum and boiling-point range of its constituents and compare these data to standards to determine a match.