Chlorinated Solvents vs Petroleum Hydrocarbons

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There are two classes of Volatile Organic Chemicals or VOCs. The first is Chlorinated Solvents and the other is Petroleum Hydrocarbons. Chlorinated Solvents are a family of chemical compounds created with chlorine, that are used in for such purposes as, degreasers, paint thinners, pesticides and more. Petroleum Hydrocarbons or PHCs is the name of a family of chemicals that are made from oil or products refined from oil, such as, gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel. The size of the molecules can also determine the value of oil. The smaller the size the more valuable the chemical.
Chlorinated Solvents vs Petroleum Hydrocarbons
A few examples of Chlorinated Solvents are, carbon tetrachloride, methylene chloride, and trichloroethylene. The chlorine in the compound helps break down organic materials such as, fats, which make it a useful cleaner. You can be exposed to this compound by inhalation or contact with your skin. Although it is easy to be exposed to these compounds, it is easy to leave the body by exhalation or urination.
A few examples of Petroleum Hydrocarbons are, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs, benzene, and toluene. Most Petroleum Hydrocarbons are considered toxicological hazards. Chemicals are grouped together by their health guidelines. The measurement methods of them vary between countries but the easiest way for you to estimate the values of these chemicals is called total petroleum hydrocarbons or TPHs. The only issue with using this method is that you will not be able to estimate toxicity.
Petroleum Hydrocarbons have fingerprints comprised of living material that decayed thousands of years ago, the heat, pressure, and chemical makeup of the organic material in the geological mechanisms that produce oil, environmental weathering such as, evaporation, and of course the refining of the oil. By analyzing the specific groups within this chemical family and looking at their biomarkers you can tell them apart, which is key to finding the origin of oil spills.
Petroleum Hydrocarbons biodegrade easily is oxygenated environments, whereas Chlorinated Solvents biodegrade much slower and in nonoxygenated environments. Another thing to keep in mind is that as PHCs rapidly biodegrade it will seep into the soil and as Chlorinated Solvents biodegrade is releases toxins into the air. As PHCs enter soil and groundwater the condition stabilizes at the rate of it biodegrading. Chlorinated Solvents biodegrade slower and evaporate groundwater with it.
In conclusion, there are pros and cons to both chemical families. Chlorinated Solvents biodegrade slower and in nonoxygenated areas and Petroleum Hydrocarbons biodegrade quicker in oxygenated areas. When you introduce liquid PHCs and Chlorinated Solvents into water, they create a separate liquid phase due to being less dense than water. This is called nonaqueous phase liquids or NAPLs. These can affect soil gas or groundwater.

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