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When many individuals think of chromatography, they picture a group of scientists or lab technicians in white coats working on pharmaceuticals and medicine. However, many people don’t realize that the petroleum industry also uses chromatography in their operations. Keep reading to learn about chromatography in the petroleum industry.

Accidental oil spills

Petroleum industries face the possibility of oil spills, and sometimes they happen by accident. Gas chromatography is the most common type of chromatography to help experts in the petroleum industry decipher the levels of spilled oil in the environment. For instance, when major oil spills occur and get into water, scientists can separate the mixture using gas chromatography. This process helps scientists identify the fluctuations of oil levels in the water. Of course, this a rare scenario, but spills can happen, and chromatography is one of the many tools that aid a solution.

Monitoring and analysis

Most commonly, gas chromatography helps the petroleum industry both monitor and analyze oil’s quality. The separation of elements is crucial for the crude oil we all rely on in some way because the slightest contamination in oil can significantly reduce its efficiency. For instance, petroleum experts can use gas chromatography to separate harmful elements from the mixture. They can identify these elements both from the chromatography machine and using different types of detectors. For example, some experts may choose a photometric detector or thermal conductivity detector.

Whether you work in the petroleum industry or not, the process of chromatography in the petroleum industry affects you eventually. We all depend on crude oil either directly or indirectly and petroleum experts know that. That said, experts spend a lot of time and effort to ensure the highest quality oil gets to consumers, whether it be for their vehicles or industrial applications.

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