Answers to frequently asked questions are below. If your question is not answered here, please call us or fill out our contact form for more information.

Q: Will the OSS Oil in Water test method cost more than having an outside laboratory perform the testing for us?

A: The OSS method, providing more information faster, is more cost effective than external laboratory testing. The OSS ClearShot™ method can be performed day or night and the results are available within a few minutes. With a few simple steps the method provides the concentration of oil and, without any additional time or effort, the identity of the oil or oils in the sample. External laboratories provide a service that generally has a 10-to-14-day turn-around time or has a much higher cost if results are required within a shorter period. Time that may be critical for operations, for product quality or for effluent control. In addition, a key advantage of the OSS technology is that external laboratories do not have the same capability to provide the identity of the oil or oils in the sample.

Q: Can I identify specific oils present in the sample using the OSS method?

A: Yes. The OSS ClearShot technology provides for a clear view of the total spectral region of the sample. This enables the FTIR unit to generate a “fingerprint” of each possible oil in question. As a result, the method can identify the oil or oils in a sample. OSS can assist in the process to generate a custom-built library that can be incorporated in the macro software. Therefore, when a sample is analyzed using an OSS macro, the program automatically searches for a spectral match between the FTIR spectrum oil in the sample and the FTIR spectra in the custom-built library and provides the % match to identify the oil.

Q: Why would I want to identify the oil or oils present in the sample?

A: There are several reasons why oil identification can be of significant benefit. In a production plant, if there is oil present either 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. For example, this can help eliminate the generation of off quality products and reduce the risk of incurring a financial penalty for an environmental exceedance. By creating an oil library, specifically for the site, 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. In an effluent situation, where the source of oil may be from multiple locations, identification of the oil can both eliminate potential sources and identify actual sources. 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.

Q: Is there an environmental benefit to using OSS ClearShot Oil in Water extractors?

A: Yes. When using traditional Oil in Water test methods, there are significant flammability, health and environmental concerns associated with solvents. Using the OSS ClearShot method eliminates the need for solvents (no purchase, use and disposal of a hazardous waste), removes the need for a chemical fume hood, translating into a smaller laboratory footprint that requires less glassware. In some applications, the method can be a zero-waste solution, as the ClearShot extractors can be returned to OSS to be refurbished and then used over again. Positive and rapid identification of oils can lead to faster resolution of potential leaks and minimize environmental impact and fines. In addition, the potential for negative press can also be minimized since the method can be performed by anyone at any time to immediately determine the oil concentration and identify whenever there is just a hint of an issue.

Q: Will the implementation of the OSS technology for measuring oil in water be time consuming?

A: There are different ways to install and implement the OSS Oil in Water test method that are not time consuming or challenging. OSS can provide training to staff using Webex conference calls. These calls allow for the full explanation of the equipment, the method process and the answering of all questions. As an alternative, for a minimal fee, OSS will travel to a site to install, train all staff and ensure that the method is providing the desired performance. As a benefit, once the people are operational, increasing the availability of technician time at 2 to 3 hours per test can have a significant impact on the operation of the lab.

Q: Can the OSS ClearShot method handle sea water?

A: Yes, the OSS Oil in Water test method can handle saltwater samples by using a simple water flush step. The OSS method uses the most prominent oil peak near 2920 to determine the oil concentration. However, water or water moisture has a very large peak in the 3000 range. The presence of salt will retain water, even when drying the sample using high pressure dry air. A simple flush with 10 ml of DI water after the sample has been pushed through the extractor and before drying will eliminate the water issue.

Q: Is the OSS method approved?

A: Yes, the OSS ClearShot Oil in Water test method is approved as ASTM D7575. The method precision and accuracy is such that the test method will deliver results that are +/- 10% of the actual value. The method has been tested on and is currently being used on different applications on every continent except Antarctica. OSS technology has significant benefits over traditional methods, including the ability to measure in any set of conditions and to show a very high recovery of spike oil samples.

Q: Can OSS technology measure oil in soil?

A: Yes. OSS Oil in Soil method is simple, accurate, safe and can be performed at the site. The method uses just 10 grams of soil, 10 ml of acetone and within 10 minutes, using an FTIR unit, you have your concentration of oil. It is also possible to determine the identity of the oil, should that be required.

Q: Can OSS technology be used in measuring microplastics?

A: Yes. The ClearSampler technology can quickly measure a large number of different water samples to identify which have microplastics, the type of microplastics and then allow for further analysis on FTIR or Raman microscopes.

Q: Can OSS Oil in Water measurement technology measure both non-volatile and volatile oil components?

A: Yes. The OSS ClearShot technology was initially developed to replicate the measurement capabilities of the US EPA 1664 Oil in Water test method, which does not measure volatile oils. However, it is now clear that in some testing applications there is a need for the ability to measure both volatile and non-volatile components. The new OSS method enables one to measure both volatile and non-volatile oil components in the same ClearShot extractor. Again, no solvents, very little time and a simple process are the driving force of this technology for this application.

Q: Who uses the OSS ClearShot oil measurement method?

A: The OSS oil measurement method is being used globally across a multitude of applications. It is used in wastewater treatment, drinking water manufacturing, aerospace / aviation, nuclear power generation and military applications. It is also used in chemical manufacturing production facilities, testing laboratories and anhydrous ammonia and related products manufacturing and distribution sites. Refer to the application pages on the OSS website for further details.

  • method can be performed in any location and without the need for chemical fume hoods
  • the method was designed to match the solvent method and has the added capability of identifying the oil or oils in the samples
Technical FAQ