Back to top

What is refined oil testing and why is it necessary?

Refined oils such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) can be measured using a refined oil fluorometer. Refined oils are volatile organic compounds that are found in petroleum derivatives. They can be harmful to both humans and animals if absorbed through the skin, ingested or inhaled. Oils can adhere to fish gills and affect their respiration. They can also adhere to and destroy algae and plankton, which is a primary producer in the food chain.

Sources of refined oil include: the refining processes of crude oil into refined oil products, stormwater runoff and spills from road asphalts and fuelling depots, and manufacturing facilities such as automotive, plastics and steel production. Refined oil can also cause contamination through leaks in pipelines, storage tanks or containers.

Refined Oil

Using a refined oil water tester allows you to measure the amount of oil in water. Gas or liquid chromatography is the usual method for measuring levels of refined oils in water, but the instruments and materials needed can be expensive. A water refined oil meter allows in-situ, rapid detection of these compounds so that action can be taken to prevent any further contamination, and begin the cleanup process.

When to use Aquaread’s refined oil meter

There are various applications for monitoring refined oil levels in water. You might wish to continually monitor effluent water from oil refineries to ensure no environmental contamination. As outlined above, the environmental consequences of oil in water can be devastating, and monitoring the effluent water from refineries and the water near oil platforms could prevent a disaster before it’s too late. A refined oil water tester can detect oil throughout the water column in both marine and freshwater monitoring. The AP-7000 Aquaprobe is capable of testing at depths of up to 100m, the AP-5000 up to 50m, the AP-2000 and AP-LITE are both specified to 30m.

Aquaread’s refined oil electrode is an optional optical sensor that is compatible with each of our Aquaprobe devices. The ability to simply plug the sensor into one of the additional sockets allows refined oil to be detected alongside the standard water quality parameters.

Refined Oil

How does a refined oil water tester work?

Aquaread’s refined oil meter is a fluorometer that provides an excitation light at 285nm (deep UV), and detects any resultant fluorescence between 320nm and 380nm. The amount of fluorescence detected is an indicator of the concentration of refined oil in water. Our refined oil electrode gives accurate readings in the range of 0 to 10,000 ug/L, or parts per billion, with a resolution of 0.1 ug/L.

Using fluorescence measurement techniques in the field will never be as accurate as measurements made in a lab using either gas or liquid chromatography, because the accuracy is affected by interference from other compounds that fluoresce at similar wavelengths. This includes interference caused by turbidity, and there can be alterations in the fluorescent response due to various types of oil, temperature and ambient light.

Using a refined oil water tester is practical for users who are looking to detect the presence of absence of refined oil in water. Fluorometry isn’t ideal for quantitative measurement but more accurate results can be gained by post-calibrating data with data from standard lab analysis of grab samples taken during the study.

Aquaread’s water quality monitoring equipment

Our highly accurate multi-parameter water quality testing sondes are designed to be used in the field. We have devices that are suitable for both fixed and spot monitoring. The AP-7000 is ideal for long term deployment with its self cleaning facility and 6 additional ports for ultimate user customisation. On the other end of the scale we have the AP-LITE which is for when you don’t need multiple parameters. This portable probe takes just one optical sensor and is perfect for simply monitoring refined oil in water.

Refined Oil
Refined Oil
Refined Oil

Get into monitoring with Aquaread

If you would like any more information about TDS meters and other total dissolved solids testing equipment, or water quality monitoring in general, please contact us. Click here to see our product range.