Standard Historical Last Updated: Jun 15, 2011
ASTM D3650-93(2006)

Standard Test Method for Comparison of Waterborne Petroleum Oils By Fluorescence Analysis

Significance and Use

This test method is useful for rapid identification of waterborne petroleum oil samples as well as oil samples obtained from fuel or storage tanks, or from sand, vegetation, or other substrates. This test method is applicable to weathered and unweathered neat oil samples.

The unknown oil is identified through the comparison of the fluorescence spectrum of the oil with the spectra (obtained at similar instrumental settings on the same instrument) of possible source samples. A match of the entire spectrum between the unknown and possible source sample indicates a common source.


1.1 This test method covers the comparison of waterborne petroleum oils with oils from possible sources by means of fluorescence spectroscopy (). Useful references for this test method include: () and () for fluorescence analysis in general and (), (), and () for oil spill identification including fluorescence.

1.2 This test method is applicable to crude or refined petroleum products, for any sample of neat oil, waterborne oil, or sample of oil-soaked material. Unless the samples are collected soon after the spill occurs, it is not recommended that volatile fuels such as gasoline, kerosine, and No. 1 fuel oils be analyzed by this test method, because their fluorescence signatures change rapidly with weathering. Some No. 2 fuel oils and light crude oils may only be identifiable up to 2 days weathering, or less, depending on the severity of weathering. In general, samples weathered up to 1 week may be identified, although longer periods of weathering may be tolerated for heavy residual oils, oil weathered under Arctic conditions, or oil that has been protected from weathering by collecting in a thick layer.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D19.06
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D3650-93R06
ICS Code: 75.080