Spectral Fluorescence Characteristics of Commercially Available Hydrocarbon Sensors

Stephanie Joymarie Jocis


Due to the risk of oil spills in the marine environment, the ability to detect and characterize spilled oil with spectral fingerprinting has major significance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of seven commercial off the shelf (COTS) in-situ hydrocarbon fluorometers to single hydrocarbon compounds and crude oil water accommodated fractions (WAF). A spectrometer and fluorometer were used to characterize the spectral properties of parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their alkylated homologs. The sensors were tested for responses to parent PAH compounds and to crude oil WAF. Absorbance and excitation-emission spectra indicated spectral properties of parent and alkylated PAHs were very similar. The sensor results were compared to CDOM responses to distinguish sensor sensitivity between CDOM and oil, revealing significant differences in sensitivity and selectivity. These results are being applied to field data collected in the Gulf of Mexico by a Bluefin Spray Glider. This study was conducted during a summer internship at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University.


Fluorescence; Oil; Sensor

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