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Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE)

 EPA/600/R-01/089

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

  Field Measurement Technologies for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Soil Horiba Instruments Incorporated OCMA-350 Oil Content Analyzer
September 2001

The OCMA-350 Oil Content Analyzer (OCMA-350) developed by Horiba Instruments Incorporated (Horiba), 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 OCMA-350 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, Horiba required 46 hours, 15 minutes, for TPH measurement of 199 samples and 9 extract duplicates. The TPH measurement costs for these samples were estimated to be $15,750 for the OCMA-350 compared to $42,050 for the reference method. The method detection limits were determined to be 15.2 and 4.79 milligrams per kilogram for the OCMA-350 and reference method, respectively. During the demonstration, the OCMA-350 exhibited good precision and sensitivity to interferents that are petroleum hydrocarbons (methyl-tert-butyl ether and Stoddard solvent). However, the OCMA-350 TPH results (1) did not compare well with the reference method results for the performance evaluation samples and (2) were significantly impacted by soil moisture content and by turpentine, an interferent that is not a petroleum hydrocarbon. In addition, some of the items in the OCMA-350 made the TPH measurement procedure less simple and more timeconsuming during the demonstration. Collectively, the demonstration findings indicated that the OCMA-350 may be considered for TPH screening purposes; however, the user should exercise caution when considering the device for a field TPH measurement application requiring definitive results.

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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