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Using samples from your soil and water, SGS conducts hydrocarbon fingerprinting, an environmental forensic test that enables us to evaluate the release of petroleum in soil, sediment, water and air.

Call our expert team for an evaluation today.

Hydrocarbons are organic compounds which are mainly found as naturally occuring energy sources (petroleum and natural gas) and in biomass, such as plant material. Hydrocarbons found as the result of environmental contamination, oil spills, pipeline leaks and polluted industrial sites can be analysed using hydrocarbon fingerprinting. This test determines the source, age and type of oil or petrol contamination.

Using the latest analytical equipment, we use this geochemistry technique to measure the release of petroleum. Our reports can help you to:

  • Identify the source of contamination (your site or neighbouring facility)
  • Track the timeframe for contamination (for example, if you have taken over a previously used industrial site)
  • Differeniate between pollutants from oil and petrol and biogenic sources such as plant material

The technique involves using high-resolution capillary gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector. This method provides detailed information that is not available from other methods, including ageing, weathering, alkane distribution, biomarkers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) distribution and unknown chemical contaminants.

Our analyses can be used to clarify the responsibility for the contamination or to determine the most appropriate remediation techniques.

Start your site analysis today and call our environmental forensic team.