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UVF Technology



Sitelab's portable field analyzers use ultraviolet fluorescence technology, a very selective detection method used for measuring many types of petroleum contaminants. UVF spectrometry's principle of operation relies on the electronic configuration of the molecular structure for organic compounds.

Aromatic hydrocarbons, which include ring-shaped compounds such as benzene, naphthalene, benzo[a]pyrene and many others, both excite and emit energy at specific wavelengths. The fluorometer's response of each sample is measured by the instrument on a linear, multi-point calibration curve using certified standards sensitive to the wavelengths of interest. Samples are extracted in a solvent using disposable test kits and then placed into the analyzer for analysis. The concentration is displayed in only a few seconds.

Different petroleum products contain different types and amounts of aromatic hydrocarbons, which fluoresce differently from one another. Many contaminated sites also contain weathered fuel products which have degraded and changed in composition over time. Conventional laboratories use a variety of U.S. EPA or other state regulatory test methods using Gas Chromatography (GC) instrumentation. GCs can separate "TPH" into gasoline range, diesel and oil range hydrocarbon fractions.

Sitelab provides a variety of different calibration kits to choose from to best match the source of your spill and to provide maximum performance when comparing your field results to the confirmatory lab. Since our analyzers are calibrated using similar types of certified standards laboratories, use for GC analysis, and are fitted with high-precision excitation and emission optics, test results generated directly correlate, providing very accurate and reliable results.

This method is recognized by regulatory agencies as a field screening device. The UVF-3100 was evaluated by U.S. EPA for TPH in soil measurement and ranked highest compared to six other manufacturer's devices. 


Fluorescence Ranges


Volatile compounds, like Benzene, are separately detected from the semi and non-volatile compounds, like Naphthalene and Benzo[a]Pyrene using fluorescence. The UVF-Trilogy detects ranges of hydrocarbons and mimics laboratory GC, other regulatory test methods.

Principles of Fluorescence

Aromatic compounds (BTEX, PAHs) excite and emit energy at specific wavelengths, which varies depending on LED and optical filters used. Different UV modules are available. Voltage is converted to concentration using a photodiode sensor.


What Fluoresces?

How do Sitelab Results Correlate to Certified Laboratory Test Methods?
Sitelab's GRO, EDRO, and TPH-Oil calibration kits are specially formulated products that contain both aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Samples contaminated with gasoline, jet fuel, and many other types of petroleum contain mixtures of both aromatic and aliphatic. The aliphatic compounds are inert; they do not fluoresce, but they are accounted for when calibrating Sitelab's instruments.

  • Gasoline
  • Jet Fuels
  • Kerosene
  • Diesel Fuel
  • Heating Oils, No 2 Fuel Oil
  • Heavy Fuel Oils, No. 6 Fuel Oil
  • Motor Oils & Lubricating Oils
  • Waste Oils
  • Cutting Oils
  • Transformer Oil
  • Hydraulic Fluid
  • Gas Condensates
  • Drilling Muds
  • Crude Oils
  • Bitumen, Tar Sands, Asphalt
  • Creosote, Coal Tars, Coal Ash

 

What Doesn't Fluoresce?

Fluorescence is not sensitive to straight-chain, aliphatic hydrocarbons. UVF cannot detect contaminants such as TCE, PCE or other chlorinated solvents. This includes methanol or hexane used for analysis.
 

Very Low Detection Limits

Due to UVF's high sensitivity, minimum detection limits are in the low ppm or ppb range, capable of meeting or exceeding most regulatory cleanup levels.

Detection limits vary depending on which analyzer and calibration kit is used. Detection limits are dictated by the lowest calibrator included with each calibration kit and are the same for soil, sediment or water samples. A solvent blank is used to 'zero' the instrument during the calibration process. Sample readings between zero and the lowest calibrator are reported as non-detect (ND).

UVF-TRILOGY Fluorescence Modules

Trilogy Gro ModuleTrilogy's GRO module detects gasoline range organics (BTEX)

Trilogy's EDRO moduleTrilogy's EDRO module detects diesel and oil range organics

Trilogy PAH ModuleTrilogy's PAH module detects polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Trilogy's TPH OIL moduleTrilogy's TPH OIL module detects oil and grease range hydrocarbons