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Table VI-1: Summary Table of Field Methods for Petroleum Hydrocarbon Analysis

Test Method Media1 Analyte Data Quality Level2 Analysis Time Cost Per Sample3 Skill Level Limitations
Detector Tubes   X X >100 specific compounds 1A/1B 5 to 15 min $8 to $27 Low High degree of cross-reactivity
Fiber Optic Chemical Sensors   X X VOCs and SVOCs
≥ C6
1A/1B 3 to 5 min <$1 to $10 Low Does not measure specific constituents
Colorimetric Test Kits X   X Aromatic hydrocarbons 1A/1B 10 to 20 min $17 to $42 Low-Med. Colors may be difficult to distinguish
TOV Methods with FID/PID X X X Total VOCs 1A/1B 1 to 30 min <$1 to $10 Low-Med. Does not measure specific constituents
Turbidimetric Test Kit X     TPH of mid-range hydrocarbons (e.g., diesel fuel) 1B 15 to 20 min
(25 per hour)4
$10 to $15 Low-Med. Not useful for gasoline
Immunoassay Test Kits X   X TEX/PAHs/TPH 1B 30 to 45 min
(5 to 8 per hour)4
$20 to $60 Med. Cross-reactivity may affect interpretation
Portable Infrared Detectors X   X TPH of hydrocarbons from C6 to C26 2 5 to 20 min $5 to $30 Med. VOCs are not accurately analyzed
Field GC X X X Specific VOCs and SVOCs 2/3 10 to 60 min5 $20 to $70 Med.-High Requires a skilled technician

1Soil (S), Soil-Gas (SG), Water (W)
2Data quality levels are discussed in further detail in Chapter VI of the "Expedited Site Assessment..." manual (see note below).
3Includes estimation of capital costs and disposables -- excludes labor.
4When run in batches.
5Longer times result when high quality method preparations are performed.

NOTE: This table appears as Table VI-1 in Chapter VI of "Expedited Site Assessment Tools for Underground Storage Tank Sites: A Guide for Regulators" (EPA 510-B-97-001).

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