Physical/Chemical Properties of Petroleum
Hydrocarbons Relating to Groundwater Contamination
petroleum products are characterized by:
volatile hydrocarbons (boiling points between 36 and 173° C)
branched chain paraffins (alkanes)
aromatics (e.g., BTX = benzene, toluene, xylene)
composition varies with source
diesel (Number 2 fuel oil)
flash points between 110 and 190° C
unbranched paraffins (staight chain alkanes)
low amounts of aromatic compounds
physical form and density (e.g., alkane chains)
<17 carbons -> liquids with density < water (1)
>18 " solids -> (20°C) waxes
solubilities decrease as C number increases
pentane (C=5) solubility = 360 ppm (20C)
hexane (C=6) " = 13 "
decane (C=9) " = 0.009 "
vapor pressures decrease as C number increases
methane (C=1) gas @ 20°C
ethane (C=2) "
propane (C=3) "
butane (C=4) "
pentane (C=5) liquid @ 20°C (vp = 430 mm Hg)
hexane (C=6) " (vp = 120 " ")
decane (C=10) " (vp = 3 " ")
BTX ( most important petroleum hydrocarbon contaminants)
benzene solubility =1780 ppm & vp = 76 mm Hg @ 20°C
toluene 515 22
xylene " 175 to 198 6