Alkylated PAH Analysis
Alpha offers an extended list of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) beyond the routine EPA Priority Pollutant List parent PAH compounds. Alkylated homologs of the parent PAHs can provide valuable information about the nature of the unknown product, including potential sources, and the allocation of responsibility for a given release. The relative abundance of the alkylated homologs in relation to the parent PAH compounds can assist with differentiating between PAHs derived from petroleum (petrogenic) and PAHs resulting from combustion, or partially combusted organic matter (pyrogenic).
Alkylated PAH analysis is also commonly used to support risk assessment applications. The USEPA has developed a tiered ecological risk assessment approach for contaminated sediments. In Tier 1, the potential bioavailability of PAHs is assessed based on the analysis of whole sediments, with the PAH concentrations detected evaluated against established equilibrium partitioning guidelines. In Tier 2, the potential PAH bioavailability is assessed by the analysis of the sediment pore water. Alpha supports both assessments, with the pore water analysis conducted using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) analysis (ASTM D7363) for all 34 of the listed PAHs. For more information on PAH analysis in support of ecological risk assessment, click here.
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