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Question:How to test sea water for gas?

liz is asking a question about general: Follow this topic

by liz | April 10, 2021 16:21 | #26183

There's a known discharge point from an gasoline refinery on the coast of the Dominican Republic, in the Haina industrial area, discharging into the Caribbean Ocean. My colleague is curious what's in it. The youth, who have to cross the discharge canal in order to reach their swimming spot, say in regard to the discharge canal, "Don't step in that water, do you smell it? The gas? Don't touch it!"

But what is the actual content? How can my colleague take a water sample in a way that preserves the volatiles for analysis by a lab? What services would a lab have to offer to be able to test such a water sample? Are there other ways that might document discharge from a gasoline refinery, or any of the byproducts of the crude oil refining process?


The quickest way would be a liquid/liquid separation on a sample of the water, followed by filtration ( if needed) and injection of the solvent in gas chromatograph (preferably with a mass spec detector). It would also cost a little. Let me do some more digging.

Thank you @Ag8n! Following your replies here with interest.

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One interesting gc mentioned in public lab a while ago was the frog 5000. It's not a gc/ms. But it might be able to do testing for the gasoline.

Please note-MIGHT be able to detect the gasoline. It would take some work to be sure.

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This page collects methods for determining the impact of oil and gas on #water-quality: https://publiclab.org/wiki/oil-and-gas-water-quality

@wmacfarl's reply from above included this link that gets into detail about all the ways water moves in, through, and out of a refinery:

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