EPH Analysis & TPH Analysis for Environmental Samples
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EPH Analysis & TPH Analysis

06 Jan EPH Analysis & TPH Analysis

Analysing Environmental Samples


In this article we will take a look at two of the terms used in association with sampling and analysing environmental samples for petroleum: EPH Analysis (Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbon) and TPH Analysis (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon).

Different analytical methods are used for processing samples from oil and fuel spills, compared to the common petroleum methods used in environmental laboratories. This is because the oil / fuel is not pure enough for pattern recognition when it is released into the environment. When oil / fuels are released into the environment their integrity is decreased. This makes it too complex to identify and quantify the individual analytes.


EPH Analysis (Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbon)

The EPH analysis method quantifies individual fractions of extractable hydrocarbons in sediments, water and soil, according to the number of carbon atoms in the constituent compounds.

The EPH analysis method quantifies extractable aliphatic hydrocarbons within these two ranges:

C9 – C18

C19 – C36

EPH analysis utilises solvent extraction and SPE fractionation.


TPH Analysis (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon)

TPH methods are generally used for semi volatile, heavier volatile and certain heavier analytes. They require solvent extraction.

UIS Organic Laboratory offers a C10-C40 TPH analysis that has been developed in-house. Using certified diesel and motor oil standards, this method enables us to determine the total hydrocarbon concentration over the diesel/oil range.

Different methods of extraction are used for soil and water samples.

For water samples a liquid-liquid extraction is used, while an Accelerated Solvent Extractor is used for the extraction of soils. The resulting extracts are then analyzed using liquid injection on a Bruker 450GC-300MS Triple Quadrapole .

As a standard we report a C10-28, C28-40 and a C10-40 total, but specific TPH breakdowns between C10 and C40 can be tailored to client specifications at a slightly higher price.


To request an EPH Analysis or TPH Analysis, please get in touch with us at UIS Organic Laboratory:

Tel: 012 345 1004

Email: [email protected]

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