Fluorescence analysis is used to analyze soils or sediments and determine the presence of liquid hydrocarbons.
The concentration of aromatic compounds and their fluorescence intensity represent a useful indicator of liquid hydrocarbons. Under certain conditions these data can be used to predict the approximate API gravity of oils and condensates.
The sample is extracted with a solvent and the extract is analyzed for the presence of aromatic hydrocarbons, specifically 2-ring (naphthalene) and 3-ring (phenanthrene).
Despite their high molecular weights, these aromatic compounds often occur in near-surface soils and sediments covering oil accumulations.