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API 4395

1985 Edition, 1985

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Laboratory Study on Solubilities of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Groundwater

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 1985 Edition, 1985
  • Published Date: August 1985
  • Status: Not Active, See comments below
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • Page Count: 289
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


Gasoline contacting with ground water results in an aqueous phase containing some amounts of gasoline hydrocarbon components. Some factors which may affect the concentrations of these hydrocarbon components include solubility, biodegradability, sediment sorptive capacity, dilution, and volatility. Generally, there is a lack of published data on the partitioning of gasoline components from the product itself to the groundwater phase.

As a first step in developing a better data base, API contracted with TRC to perform laboratory studies to investigate the solubility of gasoline components in water. Equilibrations of a well characterized API PS-6 Reference regular unleaded gasoline with organic-free, deionized water were performed using 10 parts organic-free water and one part (volume/volume) of the gasoline. The temperature maintained throughout the studies was 13°C, typical of groundwater temperature, and possible volatilization was eliminated. The water phase was removed from the sample following equilibration.

Data was obtained on the concentrations of the componention the aqueous solution through GC-FID and GC/MS work. The organic component concentrations measured in the aqueous solutions ranged from a maximum of 65 mg/L for benzene to approximately 1 mg/L for 2-pentene, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene and n-pentane. Additional organics identified and quantified in the analytical work at levels above 1 mg/L included: toluene, m-, o-, and p-xylenes, ethylbenzene, n-butane, 2-methylbutane, 2-butene, cyclopentene, and several methylated phenols.

The data presented in this study were collected under controlled laboratory conditions and are not representative of an actual groundwater system. Upper limits of concentration were defined for aqueous solubilities of hydrocarbons from gasoline. This controlled experiment, with few variables, is a first step in establishing a data base on the concentrations of gasoline components in water. A successful laboratory procedure for equilibrating water with gasoline was developed and an equilibrium time was established, The most soluble components of the aqueous solution were identified.