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API 4296

1978 Edition, May 1, 1978

Complete Document

Analysis of Refinery Wastewaters for the EPA Priority Pollutants



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Product Details:

  • Revision: 1978 Edition, May 1, 1978
  • Published Date: May 1978
  • Status: Not Active, See comments below
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • Page Count: 156
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Intake waters, wastewater feed to biotreatment units, and final effluent streams from 17 petroleum refineries were sampled by the EPA within the past year to screen for the presence or absence of the 129 substances on the EPA Priority Pollutant list. Concurrently, an API contractor and/or various individual petroleum companies sampled nine of the 17 refineries. Analytical results, except for trace elements, are not available at this time for all 17 refineries sampled either from EPA or the petroleum industry.

The following table summarizes analytical results from this study:

In no case were all of the identified pollutants detected in any of the samples from any one refinery. Pollutants detected in samples of feeds to refinery biotreatment systems were significantly reduced, or removed, within the treatment system. Numerous cases occurred where levels of particular pollutants were found to be higher in the refinery's intake than effluent waters.

In addition special analytical studies were conducted by API on refinery final effluents. The studies included spiking experiments, inter-laboratory comparisons and analysis of sample blanks. Results from these investigations indicated that clarification recoveries and precision were extremely variable. Differences in the inter-laboratory data ranged from 0 to 200 percent. Analysis of samples for the PNAs by an alternate technique demonstrated that the EPA analytical protocol was unable to differentiate between certain isomeric species. Many of the samples analyzed were found or were suspected to be contaminated with substances such as methylene chloride and bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate. Therefore, the currently applied EPA analytical and sampling protocol was found to be inadequate for the quantification and, in some cases, identification of priority pollutants at the low ppb level.

Although the combined EPA-API data base is limited both in scope and accuracy, it does indicate that many (approximately 65%) of the Priority Pollutants are not present in refinery effluents. In addition, most of the pollutants detected are generally found at extremely low levels and are not uniformly present among refineries sampled nor in replicate samples taken within a single refinery.