Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predicting amount of oil in contaminated soils: Scientists develop faster method for testing soils around oil spills

Date:
June 11, 2010
Source:
American Society of Agronomy
Summary:
A team of scientists has demonstrated a new method for testing soils for oil contamination that is faster than traditional testing methods.

Oil floating on water of contaminated soils south of New Orleans, LA in 2008.
Credit: Image courtesy of American Society of Agronomy

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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Agronomy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Somsubhra Chakraborty, David C. Weindorf, Cristine L.S. Morgan, Yufeng Ge, John M. Galbraith, Bin Li, Charanjit S. Kahlon. Rapid Identification of Oil-Contaminated Soils Using Visible Near-Infrared Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy. Journal of Environmental Quality, 2010; DOI: 10.2134/jeq2010.0183

Cite This Page:

American Society of Agronomy. "Predicting amount of oil in contaminated soils: Scientists develop faster method for testing soils around oil spills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609201310.htm>.
American Society of Agronomy. (2010, June 11). Predicting amount of oil in contaminated soils: Scientists develop faster method for testing soils around oil spills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609201310.htm
American Society of Agronomy. "Predicting amount of oil in contaminated soils: Scientists develop faster method for testing soils around oil spills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609201310.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins