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    In Situ Analysis of Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, and Xylenes (BTEX) Using Fiber Optics

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    In Situ Analysis of Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, and Xylenes (BTEX) Using Fiber Optics In situ analysis of ground water is an attractive alternative to conventional sampling and analysis methods, since it eliminates sample handling and chain-of-custody concerns. The prototype instrument recently developed by our research team uses remote laser-induced fluorescence (RLIF) to measure aromatic organics in situ. The work discussed here concerns the aromatic organics fraction of gasoline (benzene, toluene, and xylenes). RLIF can theoretically detect over half of the organics on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Priority Pollutants List.

    Typical analysis for these contaminants involves routine repetitive analysis, such as quarterly gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) on samples taken from wells. Such monitoring is labor intensive, requiring a sampling team as well as a laboratory. Samples for GC/MS often take many weeks for analysis, so that remedial action information is late in arriving. An analysis is needed that is quick, simple, and less costly, providing a look at the situation as it currently exists.

    The authors propose that routine GC/MS monitoring at characterized sites be replaced with RLIF measurements, supplemented with annual GC/MS analysis as a means of validation. Since RLIF analysis is nonspecific, this approach would be sound only at sites containing known aromatics as the contaminants of interest, or at sites where the aromatics concentration correlates with other problem compounds. Comparisons of RLIF and GC sensitivity for aromatic organics are discussed, with emphasis on the relative advantages and limitations of each method.


    ground-water monitoring, in situ, measurements, laser-induced fluorescence, aromatic contaminants, gas chromatography

    Author Information:

    Chudyk, W
    Tufts University, Medford, MA

    Pohlig, K
    Tufts University, Medford, MA

    Exarhoulakos, K
    Tufts University, Medford, MA

    Holsinger, J
    Tufts University, Medford, MA

    Rico, N
    Tufts University, Medford, MA

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.21

    DOI: 10.1520/STP23419S