Development of an analytical procedure for weathered hydrocarbon contaminated soils within a UK risk-based framework

Graeme C. Risdon, Simon J. T. Pollard, Kirsty J. Brassington, Jamie N. McEwan, Graeme I. Paton, Kirk T. Semple, Frederic Coulon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


A sequential ultrasonic extraction method for contaminated soils with weathered hydrocarbons is presented. The method covers the determination of total petroleum hydrocarbons between nC(8) and nC(40), and subranges of hydrocarbons including diesel range organic compounds, kerosene range organic compounds, and mineral oil range organic compounds in soils. Further modifications to the carbon banding may be made as requested for risk assessment. These include a series of ranges known as Texas banding (from the Texas Risk Reduction Program) as well as separation of the aliphatic and aromatic fractions. The method can be routinely used for measuring hydrocarbons down to 10 mg kg(-1) in soil. Lower limits can be achieved by employing a suitable solvent concentration step following extraction; however, this would result in increased cycle time. Detection limits may vary for individual carbon ranges calculated on the percentage of the full range they cover. With an extraction efficiency and recovery between >= 95 and 99%, this method can be easily positioned as a good alternative to Soxhlet extraction and shows a good potential for implementation as a standard method potentially providing further insight to the contaminated land sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7090-7096
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number18
Early online date14 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2008


  • polycyclic aromatic-hydrocarbons
  • supercritical-fluid extraction
  • microwave-assisted extraction
  • petroleum-hydrocarbons
  • ultrasonication extraction
  • soxhlet extraction
  • bioremediation
  • wastes
  • sonication
  • efficiency


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