Public Lab Research note

Oil Testing Kit Beta Test

by ddileona | January 08, 2016 03:56 08 Jan 03:56 | #12572 | #12572

I took these spectra for the Oil Testing Kit Beta Program at the end of last year with Stevie (@stevie) and Scott (@eustatic).

First some notes on the procedure:

  1. For calibration the instructions say to look for the middle peak in the blue range, but since the shortest wavelength peak isn't always visible it can be hard to know you are looking at the right thing. It would be helpful to know what the wavelength for the peak should be.

  2. It seems like this might be a two person activity. When prepping or handling samples it seemed prudent to wear the gloves. Then in order to use the computer it seemed like I shouldn't wear the gloves. I ended up doing a Michael Jackson, one glove maneuver, but a second set of hands to work the computer would have been helpful.

  3. After creating a set, I had some trouble searching it to add more spectra to it. The set didn't seem to exist a lot of the time. Once I ended up creating a duplicate set. Is there a way to delete sets?

  4. I had a lot of trouble with the attenuator I was using. I had trouble getting a spectra with peaks that were a decently large size, but not over exposed.

Notes on the spectra:

  1. For some of the spectra I didn't see the laser peak at all (See two of the three spectra for 80W90).

  2. Is there a way to measure attenuation? It seems like this would be an important thing to measure. The kit I was using didn't have any markings to show which part of the attenuation strip I was using, but Stevie said that newer versions of the kit do have this feature.

  3. I'd really like to be able to zoom in and out of the spectra to inspect peaks.

  4. I used the autosmooth feature, but I couldn't figure out how I could smooth it anymore or less than than the default value.

Mineral Oil mineral_oil.PNG

This one looks good. A nice laser peak and no other peaks. The peak at the right end of the spectrum is is an echo of the laser, right?



All three spectra of this sample look similar. That's encouraging.



Again all three look similar, but I think I was having trouble with the attenuation on this one. The spectra is pretty small.



Two of these spectra don't show the laser peak??????

ND Crude


All the spectra look similar, but the peak is really broad and not very distinct looking. I suspect the attenuation was giving me trouble with this sample as well.



I took a lot of spectra for this one. All of them have a similar broad peak.

****Unknown plus knowns


The unknown sample is one of the known samples, but Stevie didn't tell me which one she was giving to me this time. I plotted it with all of the known for comparison.

Looking at all the known samples with the unknown sample, none of the spectra look very distinct or unique.

****Unknowns only with centers


These spectra are all of the same unknown sample. The heights have been equalized and the centers marked. The peaks are all really broad and the centers are not consistent.

I was not able to identify the unknown based on my spectra. The spectra I found were not unique enough.


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