Liquid Chromatography in the Oil and Gas Industry

MSc. graduate student Denice van Herwerden wrote a book chapter on contemporary LC techniques for samples related to oil, refining, and wastewater encountered in the oil and petrochemical industries. Covering group-type separations and distribution determinations, Van Herwerden also reviewed promising techniques currently in development.
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With the petroleum industry representing roughly 40% of the chemical industry [1], the analysis of petroleum-related samples is of interest for the optimization of refining processes, studying environmental pollution or monitoring of other processes, such as biodegradation. While gas chromatography is commonly used for most petrochemical samples, liquid-phase separations may be employed for the difficult cases.

To cover the applications of liquid chromatography in this context, MSc. graduate student Denice van Herwerden compiled this in a chapter as a contribution to the book Analytical Techniques in the Oil and Gas Industry for Environmental Monitoring [2].

In her review, Van Herwerden observed that LC is mainly applied for analysis of heavier petroleum fractions (due to their high boiling points), thermally labile compounds, and, for example, acidic compounds that would require a derivatization step prior to GC analysis. She also discussed applications where LC is used as a pre-separation technique to decrease the sample dimensionality prior to GC analysis. Denice found that, while both on- or off-line coupling may be used, the off-line coupling is recently more favored. 

Finally, van Herwerden addressed a limited number of applications of comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography to the analysis of heavy-oil fractions and derivatives

Analytical Techniques in the Oil and Gas Industry for Environmental Monitoring (ISBN: 9781119523307) is a book edited by Melissa Dunkle and William Winniford. The book was published this August and includes 11 chapters. The chapter on LC applications, which was co-written by Bob Pirok and Peter Schoenmakers, can be found here.


[1] Hazardous Effects of Petrochemical Industries: A Review. A. Sharma, P. Sharma, A. Sharma, R. Tyagi and A. Dixit, Advances in Petrochemical Science, 2018, 3(2), 2–4, DOI: 10.19080/rapsci.2017.03.555607

[2] Liquid Chromatography: Applications for the Oil and Gas Industry, D. van Herwerden, B.W.J. Pirok, and P.J. Schoenmakers, Analytical Techniques in the Oil and Gas Industry for Environmental Monitoring, 2020, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., ISBN: 9781119523307, DOI: 10.1002/9781119523314.ch5


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