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Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE)

 EPA/600/R-01/083

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

  Environmental Systems Corporation Synchronous Scanning Luminoscope
September 2001

The Synchronous Scanning Luminoscope (Luminoscope) developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in collaboration with Environmental Systems Corporation (ESC) was demonstrated under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation Program in June 2000 at the Navy Base Ventura County site in Port Hueneme, California. The purpose of the demonstration was to collect reliable performance and cost data for the Luminoscope and six other field measurement devices for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil. In addition to assessing ease of device operation, the key objectives of the demonstration included determining the (1) method detection limit, (2) accuracy and precision, (3) effects of interferents and soil moisture content on TPH measurement, (4) sample throughput, and (5) TPH measurement costs for each device. The demonstration involved analysis of both performance evaluation samples and environmental samples collected in five areas contaminated with gasoline, diesel, lubricating oil, or other petroleum products. The performance and cost results for a given field measurement device were compared to those for an off-site laboratory reference method, “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste” (SW-846) Method 8015B (modified). During the demonstration, ESC required 67 hours, 30 minutes, for TPH measurement of 199 samples and 12 extract duplicates. The TPH measurement costs for these samples were estimated to be $7,460 for ESC’s on-site sample analysis service option using the Luminoscope and $34,950 for the Luminoscope purchase option compared to $42,430 for the reference method. The method detection limits were determined to be 36 and 6.32 milligrams per kilogram for the Luminoscope and reference method, respectively. During the demonstration, the Luminoscope exhibited good precision and lack of sensitivity to moisture content and to interferents that are not petroleum hydrocarbons (tetrachloroethene; turpentine; and 1,2,4- trichlorobenzene). However, the Luminoscope TPH results did not compare well with those of the reference method, indicating that the user should exercise caution when considering the device for a specific field TPH measurement application. In addition, field observations indicated that operation of the device may prove challenging unless the operator has significant analytical chemistry skills and device-specific training.

Risk Mangement Research | Air and Climate Change Research | Water Research | Ecosystems Restoration Research | Land Risk Management Research | Technology: Sustainable Technologies Research, Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV), and Technology Assessments

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