ISO 16703:2004 specifies a method for the quantitative determination of the mineral oil (hydrocarbon) content in field-moist soil samples by gas chromatography.
The method is applicable to mineral oil contents (mass fraction) between 100 mg/kg and 10 000 mg/kg soil, expressed as dry matter, and can be adapted to lower detection limits.
ISO 16703:2004 is applicable to the determination of all hydrocarbons with a boiling range of 175 °C to 525 °C, n-alkanes from C10H22 to C40H82, isoalkanes, cycloalkanes, alkylbenzenes, alkylnaphthalenes and polycyclic aromatic compounds, provided that they are not absorbed on the specified column during the clean-up procedure.
ISO 16703:2004 is not applicable to the quantitative determination of hydrocarbons < C10 originating from gasolines.
On the basis of the peak pattern of the gas chromatogram obtained, and of the boiling points of the individual n-alkanes listed in Annex B, the approximate boiling range of the mineral oil and some qualitative information on the composition of the contamination can be achieved.