Identify the Source of the Oil

One significant advantage over traditional methods is that the OSS Clearshot Technology, in combination with FTIR capabilities, can be used to create individual oil product “fingerprint” catalogues as part of the OSS Oil in Water test method. These unique characteristics of different oils are used to automatically identify which oils are present in the sample being analyzed, with no additional processing steps required.

OSS can assist in the creation of a custom-built oil library that can be incorporated in the macro software. Therefore, when a sample is analyzed using an OSS macro, the program automatically searches for spectral match between the FTIR spectrum oil or oils in the sample and the FTIR spectra in the custom-built library and provides the % match to identify the oil or oils.

Prevent Quality Issues from Occurring

There are several reasons why oil identification can be of significant benefit.  In a production plant, if there is oil present in the process, the final product or in effluent, the ability to identify the source of the oil quickly and accurately can prevent a minor issue from becoming a major problem.  Rapidly identifying the oil and immediately correcting the problem at the source can prevent poor process performance, substandard product quality, and costly fines such as incurring a financial penalty for an environmental exceedance.  OSS will work with your team to identify the oil products in samples being analyzed. In production facilities, you can quickly identify the source of an oil problem and take immediate action.  By creating a site- specific oil library, the test method will automatically identify the major oil contributors in the sample, thus enabling the plant to focus resources on where those oils are used.

For those who are involved in environmental water testing, the method can be very useful.  Water samples taken from a stream, river, lake or other water source may be tested and found to contain oil.  With multiple potential sources, the challenge is how to determine which source is responsible.   The OSS technology can identify the oil in the water sample and then oils used in different sites can be compared to the polluting oil to identify the responsible source. 

Finally, in situations where a product changes hands from different locations or organizations, the method has been used to identify where in that process oil is entering the product.  For example, a product is manufactured, shipped by a carrier to a storage facility, stored in the facility, then shipped to a distributor who also stores the product and then finally the product is shipped to the end user.  However, at the end user, oil is found as a contaminant in the product.  The OSS technology can determine the identity of the oil and help determine where along the supply chain the issue has occurred.

How OSS Technology Helped Avoid Significant Costs

In a recent customer on-site evaluation, OSS supported a manufacturing business through the process of oil detection and identification using OSS ClearShot Technology.  Working closely with the customer, OSS was able to quantify and quickly identify the oil contaminating the final product.  Using the identity of the oil, the site was able to focus their attention to where the specific oil was used and quickly corrected the problem.  As a direct result of using OSS Technology, the customer avoided significant costs related to product claims and poor product quality.