Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New oil detection technique

Date:
September 29, 2010
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Australian scientists have developed a revolutionary technique for the rapid on-site detection and quantification of petroleum hydrocarbons (commonly derived from crude oil) in soil, silt, sediment or rock.

CSIRO scientist, Sean Forrester, demonstrates how easily the technique can be used to detect oil in soil.
Credit: Image by Ben Dearman, Ziltek Pty Ltd

CSIRO scientists have developed a revolutionary technique for the rapid on-site detection and quantification of petroleum hydrocarbons (commonly derived from crude oil) in soil, silt, sediment, or rock.

Developed in collaboration with waste technology specialist, Ziltek Pty Ltd, the technique means that the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons can now be quantified simply by using a hand-held infrared spectrometer to take readings at the site of interest, without the need to take samples or perform any kind of processing.

The technique could be used for oil exploration purposes. It will also be particularly useful in assessing and monitoring contaminated sites such as coastal land following off-shore oil spills and industrial sites planned for urban redevelopment.

"Petroleum hydrocarbons are a valuable resource, but can also be pretty nasty environmental contaminants," says CSIRO scientist, Sean Forrester.

"They can remain in the environment for extended periods of time and can be harmful to wildlife, plants and humans. Better tools to detect them makes a rapid response possible."

The technique uses an infrared signal to detect the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in samples.

By contrast, current methods use sampling and processing techniques that are labour intensive, time consuming, require sensitive equipment and are not well suited to on-site analysis.

"The ability of this new technique to rapidly detect the presence of contaminants at the site has the potential to provide significant cost advantages, in terms of reduced testing costs and the avoidance of delays," Mr Forrester says.

"Rapid analysis allows immediate measures to be undertaken to prevent further contamination or to limit contaminant spread."

A significant portion of the time and financial costs involved in assessing and remediating contaminated sites is consumed by monitoring and analysis.

By decreasing analysis time and reducing costs this new technique can assist in the fast and effective identification of oil and other petroleum products in the environment, as well as treatment and protection of environmental assets threatened by petroleum contamination.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "New oil detection technique." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928092837.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2010, September 29). New oil detection technique. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928092837.htm
CSIRO Australia. "New oil detection technique." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928092837.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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