Analytical chemistry

Classification and source determination of medium petroleum distillates by chemometric and artificial neural networks: a self organizing feature approach.

PMID 21919512


Three different medium petroleum distillate (MPD) products (white spirit, paint brush cleaner, and lamp oil) were purchased from commercial stores in Glasgow, Scotland. Samples of 10, 25, 50, 75, 90, and 95% evaporated product were prepared, resulting in 56 samples in total which were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Data sets from the chromatographic patterns were examined and preprocessed for unsupervised multivariate analyses using principal component analysis (PCA), hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), and a self organizing feature map (SOFM) artificial neural network. It was revealed that data sets comprised of higher boiling point hydrocarbon compounds provided a good means for the classification of the samples and successfully linked highly weathered samples back to their unevaporated counterpart in every case. The classification abilities of SOFM were further tested and validated for their predictive abilities where one set of weather data in each case was withdrawn from the sample set and used as a test set of the retrained network. This revealed SOFM to be an outstanding mechanism for sample discrimination and linkage over the more conventional PCA and HCA methods often suggested for such data analysis. SOFM also has the advantage of providing additional information through the evaluation of component planes facilitating the investigation of underlying variables that account for the classification.