This study presents a quantitative gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of bicyclic sesquiterpanes (BSs) in numerous crude oils and refined petroleum products including light and mid-range distillate fuels, residual fuels, and lubricating oils collected from various sources. Ten commonly recognized bicyclic sesquiterpanes were determined in all the studied crude oils and diesel range fuels with principal dominance of BS3 (C(15)H(28)), BS5 (C(15)H(28)) and BS10 (C(16)H(30)), while they were generally not detected or in trace in light fuel oils like gasoline and kerosene and most lubricating oils. Laboratory distillation of crude oils demonstrated that sesquiterpanes were highly enriched in the medium distillation fractions of approximately 180 to 481 degrees C and were generally absent or very low in the light distillation fraction (boiling point to approximately 180 degrees C) and the heavy residual fraction (>481 degrees C). The effect of evaporative weathering on a series of diagnostic ratios of sesquiterpanes, n-alkanes, and biomarkers was evaluated with two suites of weathered oil samples. The change of abundance of sesquiterpanes was used to determine the extent of weathering of artificially evaporated crude oils and diesel. In addition to the pentacyclic biomarker C(29) and C(30) alphabeta-hopane, C(15) and C(16) sesquiterpanes might be alternative internal marker compounds to provide a direct way to estimate the depletion of oils, particularly diesels, in oil spill investigations. These findings may offer potential applications for both oil identification and oil-source correlation in cases where the tri- to pentacyclic biomarkers are absent due to refining or environmental weathering of oils.
Research. Development. Production.
We are a leading supplier to the global Life Science industry with solutions and services for research, biotechnology development and production, and pharmaceutical drug therapy development and production.