November 2020


We have some exciting updates in this newsletter, the topics are:

  1. Flurry of labs actively working on joining the .hwol data file club
  2. NEW – HWOL Acronym System – for understanding the different labs’  various TPH tests
  3. ATP 15 – granulated copper added – impact for trommel fines?
  4. New navigation features for the Job & WAC pages
  5. New YouTube tutorial videos

.HWOL file – Update

Many of you who can’t yet get a .hwol file from your favourite chemical test laboratory will be pleased to learn that there has been a recent flurry of activity in the last few weeks from the labs working on the capability to publish .hwol files.  

Table 1. Status of the .hwol labs

Laboratory.hwol preparation“TPH” surveyFilter cake analysisCertifiedCan provide .hwol files for:HWOL Acronym System
ALScompletecompletecompleteYesyesyesYes1st draft
ElementcompletecompletecompleteYesyesyesyesIn progress
DETs SouthcompletecompletecompleteYesyesyesyesIn progress
ChemtestcompletecompletecompleteYesyes yesPending
I2 AnalyticalcompletecompletecompleteYesyesyesyesPending
EnvirolabcompletecompletecompleteYesyes  Pending
ChemtechcompletecompletecompleteIntegrating equipment with LIMSyes yesPending
Nicholls Colton90%completeIn progress In progress In progress1st draft
DETs North90%completeIn progress In progress In progressIn progress
ACS50%pendingpending In progress In progressIn progress
SOCOTEC50%pendingpending In progress In progressIn progress
ELAB50%pendingpending In progress In progressPending

So hopefully by the end of 2020, we will have all 12 labs able to publish .hwol files.

NEW – The HWOL Acronym System

After more than a year of investigation and working with labs, we are pleased to announce the introduction of the HWOL Acronym System. The system will make hydrocarbon test results (such as  “TPH1”, “EPH”, “mineral oil” etc.) more transparent, allowing the classifier to better understand what type of hydrocarbon testing was actually undertaken by a given lab. Importantly, the acronyms will feature by each determinand in both the .hwol file and in the PDF report; this means that even if you receive a PDF report from a third party (i.e. no contractual relationship to the test laboratory), you will still be able to understand the type of hydrocarbon testing that was undertaken, whether the data are fit for purpose for your particular analysis and lastly, be able to better compare one lab’s results with another.

So what is the challenge with the various hydrocarbon tests being offered by the chemical testing laboratories? It relates to understanding what the tests actually report; whether they are reporting just petroleum hydrocarbons or both petroleum hydrocarbons and non-petroleum hydrocarbons (such as humic acids in soils or fatty acids in some filter cakes). Specifically, are the “TPH” results based on everything extracted from your soil, filter cake or sludge or has the sample been “cleaned-up” to remove the non-petroleum hydrocarbons.

For example, have you ever seen the case where the “mineral oil (C10-C40)” result in the WAC report was of the order of several hundred mg/kg (thus failing inert WAC) while your “TPH-CWG (C6-C40)” result was only a few hundred mg/kg (thus not hazardous)?  Shouldn’t the mineral oil concentration be significantly lower or at least more similar to the TPH-CWG result?  Or a more recent example (also encountered during the .hwol certification process), where an organic filter cake was tested; here “EPH (C10-C40)” was 500 mg/kg (acceptable), “EPH (C10-C40) cleaned-up” was 100 mg/kg (acceptable), while “TPH-CWG (>C10-C44)” was 1,700 mg/kg ( What ! ).

Depending on which lab the results comes from, these disparities are more easily explained when you understand that the reported concentrations are related to the processing steps that the lab test has undertaken.  Is a lab reporting;

  • Everything extracted by the solvent(s) (EH)
  • Everything extracted (EH), followed by a clean-up (CU) step to remove non-petroleum hydrocarbons such as the humic acids present in soils
  • Whether it is tested using a 1D gas chromatograph or the newer technology: a 2D gas chromatograph (also known as GC-GC or 2D GC-FID)
  • Whether the results are a Total (all fractions), or just reflect the aliphatic (AL) or the aromatic (AR) fractions

The embolden text above are examples of some of the components of HWOL Acronym System (Table 1). So, for example, the “mineral oil” might be everything extracted, labelled: EH_1D_Total (a big number) or from another lab it might be the result following a specific clean-up step and just the aliphatic fraction; this would be labelled: EH_CU_1D_AL  (and be a smaller number). For the filter cake example outlined above, the “EPH (C10-C40) cleaned-up” was EH_CU_1D_Total, while the “TPH-CWG (>C10-C44)” was actually EH_2D_Total, i.e. the larger (unexpected) number because there was no clean-up stage (and also not following the CWG standard).

Knowing what you are dealing with is critical to;

  • A better understanding of your hydrocarbons
  • optimizing the waste classification outcome
  • passing or failing WAC, and
  • for the Phase II engineers, completing accurate human health risk assessments

Table 1. The current list of HWOL acronyms

HSHeadspace analysis
EHExtractable Hydrocarbons –  i.e. everything extracted by the solvent(s)
CUClean-up  –  e.g. by florisil, silica gel
1DGC – Single coil gas chromatography
TotalAliphatics and Aromatics
ALAliphatics Only
ARAromatics Only
2DGC-GC – Double coil gas chromatography
#1EH_2D_Total  – but with humics subtracted
#2EH_2D_Total –  but with fatty acids subtracted
+Operator – to indicate cumulative e.g.  EH+HS_Total  or  EH_CU+HS_Total
MSMass Spectrometry

Table 2.  Examples of “TPH” determinands (from various labs) and their equivalent HWOL Acronyms.

#Terms used in various labs’ PDF reportsAcronyms published in both the PDF Report & .hwol file
1GRO >C5-C10HS_1D_Total
2EPH Range >C10-C40EH_1D_Total
3TPH1 C10-C40)EH_1D_Total
4TPH (C10-C40)EH_CU_1D_Total
6TPH CWG – Total Aliphatics >C10-C44EH_CU_1D_AL
7Total Aromatics >C10-C44EH_CU_1D_AR
8Total Aliphatics & Aromatics >C10-C44EH_CU_1D_Total
9Total Petroleum HydrocarbonsEH_2D_Total
10Total Aliphatics & Aromatics >C10-C44EH_2D_Total_#1
11Mineral Oil (mg/kg)EH_1D_Total
12Mineral Oil >C10-C40EH_CU_1D_AL

More background information can be found on, in the HazWasteOnline Wiki. The material is also presented in our training materials and courses.

Note that this system does not attempt to compare the efficacy of the different solvents used by labs to physically extract the hydrocarbons from the samples. Further details on the methodology should be published in the labs method statements.

ATP 15

ATP 15 was published in May. It contains 37 new harmonised entries and 16 updates to existing harmonised entries in Table 3 of the CLP.
Two entries that may be of interest:

  • Granulated copper with particle lengths between 0.9mm and 6.0mm and diameter from 0.494 to 0.949 mm – is HP 14 Ecotoxic (H411) at 25,000 mg/kg. This material might be found in trommel fines from the processing of WEEE.
  • Silicon carbide fibres with diameter < 3µm, length > 5µm and aspect ratio ≥ 3:1 – is HP 7 Carcinogenic (H350) at 1,000 mg/kg. This material, also known as carborundum, is used in semiconductors, abrasive discs and cutting tools.

HazWasteOnline – improved navigationfunctionality

We have added new functionality to both the Job and WAC pages (WAC is only in Prof & Packages Edition) that provides improved key navigation – including allowing you to enter a number and then use the right arrow key to enter and  move to the next cell.

The improvements to Key navigation are summarised below:

  1. Arrow keys work on moving the active cell around even after typing numbers in a cell.
  2. Arrow keys left and right move cursor in the edit field when the action is started by an enter key or double clicking a cell (edit an existing number)
  3. Enter key alternatively enters current cell in editing or if in editing exits editing and moves one step down. Using Shift+Enter moves one cell up
  4. Tab key always moves one cell right (like right arrow key) while Shift+Tab moves one cell to the left.
  5. Ctrl + arrow key:
    1. Ctrl+up arrow: moves to the first cell of the column
    2. Ctrl+down arrow: moves to the last cell at the bottom of the column
    3. Ctrl+left arrow: moves to the first sample
    4. Ctrl+right arrow: moves to the last sample
  6. Esc key will cancel editing of a cell, existing value remains unchanged
  7. Auto scroll is vastly improved: when the current cell reaches the margins of the visible viewport it will scroll the viewport one cell at a time keeping the active cell visible

New YouTube tutorial videos 

We have created two new videos to add to the .hwol file playlist based on technical support we’ve been providing! These being:

  • How to create a batch .hwol file, merging multiple files
  • Extracting a waste stream template from a .hwol file for editing

  Please visit our YouTube channel to watch!