Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon
Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) is a term used to describe a large family of several hundred chemical compounds that originally come from crude oil. The typical range from C5 – C40 consist of fractions and classes. The fractions range from petrol, through kerosene, diesel to oils, jet fuel and crude. The main classes of compounds present are saturated and unsaturated aliphatics and aromatics containing carbon and hydrogen. However there are lower concentrations of other classes containing oxygen such as FAMES (fatty acid methyl esters) from biofuels. From an environmental perspective not only total petroleum measurement is a requirement, but the compound classes and sometimes the individual components need reporting. This is due to the toxicity differences between the classes and individual compounds. In addition it is also very useful to know what fraction of petroleum is present, in the case of land contamination and how long it has been present.