Oil Fingerprinting and Oil Spills

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SGS M-Scan specialises in the forensic use of capillary GC and GC-MS to "fingerprint" spilled oils, normally utilising biological markers (isoprenoids, steranes, triterpanes, bicyclic sesquiterpanes etc) and provides a specific service in this field to oil companies, insurers, tanker owners and port authorities. The GC-MS distributions of aromatic, aliphatic and olefinic hydrocarbons have been used by SGS M-Scan in arson investigations and to "fingerprint" spilled gasolines.

GC-MS analysis of oxygenates, such as MTBE, is used to trace unleaded petrol in the environment. FAB-MS, MALDI-TOF and other mass spectrometric techniques allows gasoline additives to be detected and compared which offers the potential of branding gasolines.

In addition to analysing samples SGS M-Scan also offers a Consultancy Service whereby chromatography and mass spectrometry data obtained by third parties can be reviewed and an Expert Opinion on the source of the product provided.