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Environmental Forensic Analysis Using Enhanced Petroleum Hydrocarbon Testing | Eurofins TestAmerica Laboratories

Analytical Approach for Paraffins, Isoparaffins, Aromatics, Naphthenes, and Olefins (PIANO)

Gasoline is a complex mixture of hundreds of compounds, including hydrocarbons, oxygen containing ethers, alcohols, sulfur and nitrogen containing moieties.  Since no two refinery’s products are identical, gasoline can be chemically fingerprinted.  Hydrocarbons that are present in gasoline occur in five compound classes: Paraffins, Isoparaffins, Aromatics, Naphthenes, and Olefins, often referred to as PIANO. The PIANO target compound list provides data for chemical fingerprinting for forensic purposes for gasoline releases. Because PIANO methods are designed to distinguish gasoline types, they also include oxygenated additives such as MTBE, TAME, DIPE and ETBE as well as sulfur containing compounds such as thiophene, benzo(b)thiophene, 2 -methylthiophene and 2 -ethylthiophene.

TestAmerica’s analytical approach for PIANO uses a high resolution gas chromatography /mass spectrometer [GC/MS] based on US EPA SW 846 Method 8260 [modified]. The modification includes a far wider range of target analytes as compared to the traditional Method 8260 analysis,  including  11 paraffins, 33 isoparaffins, 26 olefins, 26 naphthenes, 37 aromatic compounds, MTBE, TAME, DIPE, ETBE ,Thiophene, benzo(b)thiophene, 2 -methylthiophene and 2 –ethylthiophene, as well as C3- C13.


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