A study of methods used to analyze total oil and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in produced water: steps towards the validation of molecularly imprinted polymers for use in marine environmetns

Burton, Kerri E. (2015) A study of methods used to analyze total oil and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in produced water: steps towards the validation of molecularly imprinted polymers for use in marine environmetns. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Produced water is a by-product of offshore oil and gas production, and is released in large volumes when platforms are actively processing crude oil. Some pollutants are not typically removed by conventional oil/water separation methods and are discharged with produced water. Oil and grease can be found dispersed in produced water in the form of tiny droplets, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are commonly found dissolved in produced water. Both can have acute and chronic toxic effects in marine environments even at low exposure levels. The analysis of the dissolved and dispersed phases are a priority, but effort is required to meet the necessary detection limits. There are several methods for the analysis of produced water for dispersed oil and dissolved PAHs, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. In this work, EPA Method 1664 and APHA Method 5520 C for the determination of oil and grease will be examined and compared. For the detection of PAHs, EPA Method 525 and PAH MIPs will be compared, and results evaluated. APHA Method 5520 C Partition-Infrared Method is a liquid-liquid extraction procedure with IR determination of oil and grease. For analysis on spiked samples of artificial seawater, extraction efficiency ranged from 85 – 97%. Linearity was achieved in the range of 5 – 500 mg/L. This is a single-wavelength method and is unsuitable for quantification of aromatics and other compounds that lack sp³-hybridized carbon atoms. EPA Method 1664 is the liquid-liquid extraction of oil and grease from water samples followed by gravimetric determination. When distilled water spiked with reference oil was extracted by this procedure, extraction efficiency ranged from 28.4 – 86.2%, and %RSD ranged from 7.68 – 38.0%. EPA Method 525 uses solid phase extraction with analysis by GC-MS, and was performed on distilled water and water from St. John’s Harbour, all spiked with naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene. The limits of detection in harbour water were 0.144, 3.82, 0.119, and 0.153 g/L respectively. Linearity was obtained in the range of 0.5-10 g/L, and %RSD ranged from 0.36% (fluorene) to 46% (pyrene). Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are sorbent materials made selective by polymerizing functional monomers and crosslinkers in the presence of a template molecule, usually the analytes of interest or related compounds. They can adsorb and concentrate PAHs from aqueous environments and are combined with methods of analysis including GC-MS, LC-UV-Vis, and desorption electrospray ionization (DESI)- MS. This work examines MIP-based methods as well as those methods previously mentioned which are currently used by the oil and gas industry and government environmental agencies. MIPs are shown to give results consistent with other methods, and are a low-cost alternative improving ease, throughput, and sensitivity. PAH MIPs were used to determine naphthalene spiked into ASTM artificial seawater, as well as produced water from an offshore oil and gas operation. Linearity was achieved in the range studied (0.5 – 5 mg/L) for both matrices, with R² = 0.936 for seawater and R² = 0.819 for produced water. The %RSD for seawater ranged from 6.58 – 50.5% and for produced water, from 8.19 – 79.6%.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11710
Item ID: 11710
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-95).
Keywords: MIP, PAH, oil and gas, chemistry, analytical
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Chemistry
Date: October 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Oil field brines--Analysis; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons--Analysis; Extraction (Chemistry); Oil pollution of water--Measurement

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