Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Predicting Amount of Oil in Contaminated Soils

10.06.2010
Scientists develop faster method for testing soils around oil spills

Scientists are reporting a new technique for mapping and testing oil-contaminated soils. Traditionally, samples need to be collected from the field and returned to a lab for extensive chemical analysis, costing time and money when neither is readily available during a clean-up operation. The new method can take measurements in the field and accurately predict the total amount of petroleum contaminants in moist, unprepared soil samples.

The research team led was by soil scientists David Weindorf from Louisiana State University, Cristine Morgan of Texas Agrilife Research, and John Galbraith from Virginia Tech. The method they investigated used visible near infrared light with diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, shining a light on a sample and reading the reflecting wavelengths. This allowed the researchers to rapidly evaluate soils for the presence and amount of oil contamination quickly while in the field, without sending a sample to a laboratory and waiting for test results. The technique was used to predict total petroleum hydrocarbons in a variety of soils in southern Louisiana.

Results from the study were reported in the July-August 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America. Funded by the Louisiana Applied Oil Spill Research Program, the research was also presented at Clean Gulf 2009 in New Orleans, LA and the 2009 Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meetings in Pittsburgh, PA.

The study results demonstrated that the new method provided acceptable predictions of oil contamination compared to more traditional laboratory testing. The most successful method for scanning the materials was without additional drying and grinding, which released volatile hydrocarbons and caused inaccurate measurements. This indicates that on-site scanning of soils impacted by an oil spill provide superior results, since there is no loss of material through shipment or processing.

Somsubhra Chakraborty, LSU doctoral student and lead graduate student on the study, stated that “Since the task of identifying a specific petroleum signature is difficult when it is mixed with soil, the present feasibility study indicated that successful combination of chemometry and spectrometry...looks really promising for developing a methodology to identify petroleum contaminated soils in the near future. The fact that this spectroscopic technology does not need prior sample preparation has made it particularly applicable.”

Research is ongoing at the Louisiana State University AgCenter to investigate the use of this method for mapping hydrocarbon contaminant plumes and evaluate the unique light signatures of different hydrocarbon compounds (tar, crude oil, diesel, and motor oil). Other research is evaluating predictive models that would be used in conjunction with on-site analysis. Ultimately, this research may lead to the use of airborne or satellite platforms to provide a new means of assessing both known and unknown areas of oil spill contamination.

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at https://www.agronomy.org/files/publications/jeq/abstracts/39-4/q10-0183-abstract.pdf.

The Journal of Environmental Quality, http://jeq.scijournals.org is a peer-reviewed, international journal of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The Journal of Environmental Quality covers various aspects of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including terrestrial, atmospheric, and aquatic systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sciencesocieties.org
http://www.agronomy.org

Further reports about: Agronomy Soil Soil Science contaminated soil crop environmental risk oil spill

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Food for the city – from the city
03.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht How the forest copes with the summer heat
29.08.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Astrophysicists measure precise rotation pattern of sun-like stars for the first time

21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Brought to light – chromobodies reveal changes in endogenous protein concentration in living cells

21.09.2018 | Life Sciences

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>