Lumex Instruments Group

Determination of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil by fluorimetric method - Soil and Groundwater


Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) is a term used to describe a large family of several hundred chemical compounds that originally come from crude oil; the main and most specific part of these compounds are non-polar and slightly polar hydrocarbons of the aliphatic, aromatic, and alicyclic structure.

The control of TPH in soil is highly important because oil and oil products are toxic to plants, animals, and humans and reduce soil quality and fertility.

With the FLUORAT-02 analyzer, accurate, sensitive and cost-effective fluorimetric determination of TPH in soil is possible according to the most up-to-date regulatory documents, for example, with the draft standard GB 15618 “Soil environmental quality standard for agricultural land”.

A fluorimetric method for the determination of the THP content in soil is based on the extraction of oil products from the sample by hexane (Method A, for slightly contaminated soils) or chloroform (Method B, for heavily contaminated soils). For Method B purification by column chromatography is required. Fluorescence intensity of an extract is measured by the FLUORAT-02 analyzer and the final result is displayed by FLUORATE software as TPH content in the soil sample in mg/kg.