Rapid and Accurate Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) Measurement in Soil

Soil contamination can result from industrial discharges, agricultural chemicals, and improper waste management and impacts environmental health, agriculture, and ecosystems. Measurement of soil contamination commonly suffers from lengthy delays that result from sending soil samples to an analytical laboratory for testing. Mid-infrared (MIR) technology provides an innovative solution for soil analysis, using mid-infrared spectroscopy to evaluate chemical constituents in soil, such as Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), without extensive pre-treatment. This method offers rapid and precise on-site data that facilitate timely and informed decision-making in soil remediation by environmental professionals.

Ziltek’s TPHSoil app employs Mid-infrared FTIR spectroscopy, enhanced with data analytics and machine learning, to rapidly and accurately measure TPH in soil. It uses the RemScan portable spectrometer to scan soil samples under both in-field and lab settings, aligning particularly well with the needs of the petroleum and mining industries. It also simultaneously provides detailed information on soil texture, pH, and organic carbon content of the soil, essential for precise and timely soil remediation efforts. Validated by Battelle under ISO 14034 standards, the app demonstrates high accuracy, repeatability, and a low detection limit, making it ideal for environmental testing.

Use Case Scenarios

Spill Delineation & Excavation Chasing

Spill delineation and excavation chasing are essential components in effectively managing and mitigating oil spills on soil. Spill delineation involves detailed mapping of the extent and concentration of oil contamination, a critical step for developing targeted remediation strategies and ensuring that all contaminated areas are identified for treatment. Excavation chasing, the dynamic process of removing contaminated soil, ensures that as the excavation progresses, the boundaries of contamination are continuously assessed and redefined. This approach guarantees that all affected soil is effectively removed while minimising disturbance to uncontaminated areas.

RemScan significantly streamlines these processes by providing real-time, in-field data and insights, enhancing both accuracy and efficiency in environmental restoration projects. With its advanced GPS capabilities, RemScan aids in precisely spatially mapping the extent of the spill, which is crucial for accurate delineation and effective excavation. These features not only improve the precision of cleanup efforts but also contribute to the rapid and cost-effective restoration of the site’s environmental integrity.

Explore Caes Studies

Soil Grading

Soil grading is essential for the effective management and remediation of contaminated sites. This process involves sorting soil into concentration bands based on the detected levels of hydrocarbon contamination, allowing for precisely tailored remediation strategies. With RemScan, professionals can confidently detect TPH content ranging from 0 ppm to 100,000 ppm. This capability ensures accurate assessments across varying contamination levels, from minimal to severe.

For areas with lower concentrations (0−1000 ppm), bioremediation may be adequate, while more intensive physical or chemical treatments are appropriate for higher contamination levels (over 10,000 ppm). Utilising RemScan for quick, in-field measurement of TPH levels enables a more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sensitive remediation process. By matching the remediation strategy to the specific contamination level of each soil band, the overall environmental impact is significantly reduced.

conference presentation

Remediation monitoring

Remediation monitoring is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of soil decontamination efforts and compliance with environmental standards. By continuously monitoring Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) levels, this practice confirms the completion of remediation and identifies ongoing issues.

Using RemScan for monitoring offers substantial advantages. It provides real-time, in-field TPH measurements, enabling immediate strategy adjustments if contamination levels unexpectedly fluctuate. Additionally, because measurement costs with RemScan are minimal, operators can conduct far more frequent assessments than with traditional laboratory analyses, which are constrained by higher costs and logistical challenges of sample transport. This increased data frequency enhances decision-making, leading to more precise and successful remediation.

Integrating RemScan in remediation monitoring not only accelerates process efficiency but also ensures environmental safety and regulatory adherence, promoting a more effective clean-up and restoration of contaminated sites.

peer-reviewed paper

We’re Here to Support Your Soil Remediation Efforts

At Ziltek, we are committed to assisting you with your soil analysis needs. Visit the Contact page to connect directly with a Ziltek expert. You can also follow us on LinkedIn to keep up with the latest developments, product updates, and upcoming events in soil remediation.