A Glider-Compatible Optical Sensor for the Detection of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Marine Environment

Abstract : This study presents the MiniFluo-UV, an ocean glider-compatible fluorescence sensor that targets the detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the marine environment. Two MiniFluos can be installed on a glider, each equipped with two optical channels (one PAH is measured per channel). This setup allows the measurement of up to 4 different fluorescent PAHs: Naphthalene, Phenanthrene, Fluorene and Pyrene. Laboratory tests on oil products (Maya crude oil and Diesel fuel) as well as on marine samples near industrial areas (urban harbor and offshore installations) revealed that the concentration of the four PAHs targeted accounted for 62-97% of the total PAH concentration found in samples (16 PAHs determined by standard international protocols). Laboratory tests also revealed that for marine applications, the calibration on Water Accommodated Fraction (WAF) of crude oil is more appropriate than the one on pure standards (STD). This is because PAH fluorescence is constituted in large part of alkylated compounds that are not considered with STD calibration. Results from three glider deployments with increasing levels of complexity (a laboratory trial, a field mission in non-autonomous mode and a fully autonomous mission) are also presented. During field deployments, the MiniFluo-glider package was able to detect concentration gradients from offshore marine waters toward the head of a Mediterranean harbor (< 80 ng L −1) as well as hydrocarbon patches at the surface waters of an oil and gas exploitation field in the North Sea (< 200 ng L −1 , mainly Naphthalene). It is suggested that using only the WAF calibration, the concentration derived with the MiniFluo agrees within one order of magnitude with the concentration determined by Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry (overestimation by a factor 7 on average). These performances can be improved if the calibration is made with a WAF with PAH proportions similar to the one find in the environment. Finally, it is shown that the use of in situ calibration on water samples collected during the glider deployment, when possible, gives the best results.
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Frédéric Cyr, Marc Tedetti, Florent Besson, Nagib Bhairy, Madeleine Goutx. A Glider-Compatible Optical Sensor for the Detection of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Marine Environment. Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media, 2019, 6, pp.110. ⟨10.3389/fmars.2019.00110⟩. ⟨hal-02074861⟩

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