Cookies allow for a variety of features that make your visit to Restek more enjoyable.

By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our guidelines. For more information, see our privacy policy.

01494 563377


Fingerprinting Curde Oils and Tarballs

Using biomarkers and comprehensive two-dimenstional Gas Chromatgoraphy.

By Michelle Misselwitz, Jack Cochran, Chris English and Barry Burger.

Petroleum biomarkers are molecular fossils that can be analyzed with gas chromatography to fingerprint crude oil. Fingerprints can then be used to determine the source oil for an oil spill or highly weathered tarballs. This unique fingerprint is developed by evaluating several ratios of key biomarkers, such as steranes and hopanes. Comprehensice two-dimenstional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS) was used to evaluate biomarker ratios in several crude oils from various regions and also in tarballs that washed ashore on the gulf coast of Florida up to a year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010. While one-dimensional GC-Ms is often used for this analysis, the power of GCxGC provides enhanced specificity and peak capacity with increased resolving power that can seperate diagnostic biomarkers from potential isobaric interferences. Also, GCxGC provides a structured chromatogram, which allows compound identiication that would be impossible with GC-MS due to the complexity of crude oil. In this study, using 43 different biomarker ratios from GCxGC-TOFMS analysis, we identified one tarball from a Florida beach that was a possible match to oil from a broken riser pipe collected via an underwater robot during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Others were considered non-matches.

Read the full article here.

Shopping Cart


Cart empty

website button registration

website button shop