Identification and quantification of biomarkers and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in an aged mixed contaminated site: from source to soil

Nien-Hsin Kao, Ming-Chien Su, Jheng-Rong Fan, Ying-Yung Chung
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2015, 22 (10): 7529-46
The sources of the spill and the contaminated soils of an aged oil spill contaminated site with unknown mixed pollutants were investigated by using a set of developed forensic chemical procedures which include analysis of oil products, site investigation, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) screening, biomarker identification, and finally, the confirmation of pollutants. Adamantanes (17 compounds), 10 bicyclic sesquiterpanes, 6 newly detected compounds, 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and 10 alkylated naphthalenes compounds in several gasoline, diesel oil samples, and contaminated soil samples were examined and quantified. GC/MS method, retention indices, relative response factors, and diagnostic ratio were used to identify and quantify pollutant compounds. The study revealed the key factors for distinguishing among gasoline and diesel oil products in the market, created a new set of retention indices for 10 bicyclic sesquiterpane compounds, and discovered 6 quantifiable compounds in analysis of fresh oil products. The suggested diagnostic ratios for BSs and the new compounds in the analysis of the biomarker show the differences among diesel products, link between the source of pollutants with contaminated soil, and the recognition of the signs of an aged spill, and the indications of weathering effects.

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