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# Oil Testing Kit Beta oil-testing-kit-beta

[![tmp_31304-IMG_20150702_151735_2-1028119148.jpg](https://i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/010/578/medium/tmp_31304-IMG_20150702_151735_2-1028119148.jpg)](https://i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/010/578/original/tmp_31304-IMG_20150702_151735_2-1028119148.jpg) See the latest news and updates [on the Oil Testing Kit blog](/blog/oil-testing-kit) **** ![booklet](https://i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/015/787/large/IMG_20160420_111959-2.jpg) ### Booklet Read about the Oil Testing Kit program in the Public Lab booklet, entitled **DIY Oil Testing: Progress toward community oil pollution analysis** [Order now](http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/6273104/1134a468b8a88950f2f05ef238dd2837fd517437) (\$10 paperback) **** ##Beta Program Participant Tasks Checklist: User Name You've responded, Thanks! You've Posted on Public Lab, Brilliant! Your Samples are on Spectral Work Bench, Amazing! eustatic Yes Link Sets Tofu Yes Link _ ronhuber Yes Link _ ernestootero Yes Link Sets craig Yes Link Sets tmccarffr Yes _ _ charles_hamilton Yes _ _ _mahsa_ Yes Link _Sets MelissaN Yes _ Sets zhughbanks _ _ _ wsg Yes _ Sets LKStendie _ _ _ JeanellSullivan _ _ _ ethanbass Yes Link Sets Cindy_ExCiteS Yes Link Sets chongukwai Yes Link _ drocheleau _ _ _ gracecagle Yes _ _ bluemountainsurfer Yes _ _ Others who have beta tested | Posts | Sets -----------|---------|--------|------- @stevie | [Post](https://publiclab.org/notes/stevie/12-11-2015/scanning-the-oil-testing-kit-beta-samples) | [Sets](https://spectralworkbench.org/profile/stevie) @gretchen |[Post](https://publiclab.org/notes/gretchengehrke/12-16-2015/oil-testing-kit-beta-tests-with-some-needed-re-dos) | [Sets](https://spectralworkbench.org/profile/gretchengehrke) @liz | [Posts](https://publiclab.org/profile/liz) | [Sets](https://spectralworkbench.org/profile/liz) @ddileona | [Post](https://publiclab.org/notes/ddileona/01-08-2016/oil-testing-kit-beta-test) | [Sets](https://spectralworkbench.org/profile/ddileona) @DFlores6073 | [Post](https://publiclab.org/notes/DFlores6073/12-18-2015/oil-testing-beta) | [Sets](https://spectralworkbench.org/profile/dflores6073) @mathew | - | [Sets](https://spectralworkbench.org/profile/mathew) @matej | [Post](https://publiclab.org/notes/Matej/11-03-2015/otk-unboxing) | [Sets](https://spectralworkbench.org/profile/matej?page=2) **** ###Responsibilities Each member of the Beta program will, **by November 2015**, be required to: * Create a profile on PublicLab.org (if you don't already have one) * Join the [plots-spectrometry list](/lists) (in the left-hand sidebar of this page!) * Post unboxing photos &amp; tweet them with @PublicLab &amp; #OilTestingKit! * Build and document the beta kit and sample preparation process * Run triplicate spectra of each known and unknown sample (the kit includes five labeled and five unlabeled samples) * Upload all of the spectra, tagged with "oil-testing-kit", add them to a set, and post a research note of their tests (more details on this to be posted soon) * Run a sample that you find locally. This can be anything from suspected motor oil residue on storm drain to the tar like substance you sometimes see by train tracks! * Attend two meet-ups to chat with other Beta Program members (times to be announced) In general we are seeking participants who will: * Share input and updates about their use of the kit (see [Share your work](#Share+your+work) below) * Make suggestions for improvement to the kit building process &amp; documentation * Help to refine and expand the online documentation at the Public Lab Wiki (especially the [Oil Testing Kit page](/wiki/oil-testing-kit)) Suggestions and input will be integrated into the final release of the kit! [![IMG_20150713_171909.jpg](https://i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/010/671/medium/IMG_20150713_171909.jpg)](https://i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/010/671/original/IMG_20150713_171909.jpg) **** ##Share your work Participating as a member of the Beta program means that you've volunteered to share feedback, notes, and suggestions about your use of the kit. Click here to post notes of any length, and be sure to include photos! Post about your beta oil testing kit Suggested topics for sharing: * **Construction or setup issues** - help fix them by documenting with photo or video! * **Field reports** - pictures and report-backs from collecting oil samples outdoors * **Background** - tell the story of why you're hoping to affordably identify oil contamination * **Fixes and hacks** - did you figure out a way to improve the kit? * **Related work** - share published papers, input from colleagues, related projects ##Example post: &gt; Hi, I'm Zaphod Beeblebrox, a member of the OTK Beta program. I just got my kit and assembled it (see [this post](#)) but wanted to post about the sample collection work we did yesterday. I'm monitoring motor oil runoff in a parking lot in my neighborhood, where I often seen sheens when it rains. So I went on a dry day (see the picture below) and... ![example](https://i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/005/451/medium/IMG_20140714_161104.jpg) **** ###Members @eustatic, @cquijano84, @Tofu, @ronhuber, @norby, @uprmotero, @Craig, @tmccaffr, @Charles_Hamilton, @mahsa, @JayB, @MelissaN, @LKStendie, @wsg, @zhughbanks, @JeanellSullivan, @Webstertiums, @emilycheung17, @ethanbass, @Cindy_ExCiteS, @chongyukwai, @drocheleau, @gracecagle, @Bluemountainsurfer New addition: @matej **** ###Procedure 1. For each analytical session, make a white light calibration scan, and use that to calibrate each scan performed in that session (see instructions here: http://publiclab.org/wiki/spectral-workbench-calibration). 2. Scan a cuvette filled with just mineral oil to confirm a "negative" result, and name it "Mineral oil". (Be sure your mineral oil does NOT have vitamin E additives, as some baby oils do -- this will [produce visible fluorescence](/notes/warren/10-14-2015/vitamin-e-fluorescence-in-some-baby-oils-and-relevance-to-the-oil-testing-kit)) 3. Scan each of the 5 labeled and 3 unknown samples in your Beta package pictured above on [Spectral Workbench](https://spectralworkbench.org). * Take triplicate scans of each sample and label them OTK_(sample#, e.g. 20W50)_a, OTK_(sample#)_b, etc. * Ensure the appropriate intensity range using [the attenuator strip](/wiki/oil-testing-kit#Tuning+brightness) (i.e. ensure that the red, green, and blue lines do not max out intensity, which will make it impossible to correctly identify the maximum peak wavelength). * For darker samples, you may need to dilute using mineral oil, which should (as you demonstrated in step 2) not produce any fluorescence. The crude oil sample is very dense -- just one drop of it in mineral oil may be sufficient. **Remember to note any dilution**, with # of drops or ratios, in the spectrum description! [Read more about dilution here](/notes/warren/07-14-2015/testing-the-oil-testing-kit-identifying-a-somewhat-unknown-sample#Quantities) 4. In the notes section for each scan, record the excitation source used (e.g. Blu-Ray 405 nm laser), any attenuation, any dilution done, ambient lighting conditions, and any other relevant information, such as changing styles of cuvettes or a different webcam connection. 5. Tag **each scan** (including the mineral oil) with oil-testing-kit, and your unknowns with unknown 6. Run the "Auto smooth" macro in the "More Tools" menu (shown below) on **each** spectrum. 7. Add all your scans of one sample type to a set. 8. Use the "Equalize area" button below the graph on the set display page 9. Use the "Find graph 'centers' only between 410-700nm" tool under "More tools" in the set display page 10. Take a screenshot of the resulting graph and [post it to this site as a research note](/post?tags=oil-testing-kit,spectrometer,oil-testing-kit-beta) along with a link to your set. **** **A. Documenting known samples** 1. Take triplicate scans of each known sample, and label the scans as stated in the Procedure above. 2. Make a set from your triplicate scans of a given sample. 3. Analyze and post results, as described in the Procedure. **B. Investigating unknown samples** 1. Take triplicate scans of each unknown sample, labeling the scans appropriately. 2. Make a set from your triplicate scans. 3. Analyze the results. 4. Compare the results against the suite of known samples you have already analyzed. 5. Post your results, along with your assertion of which kind of oil comprised each unknown sample. **C. Further Investigations** 1. Try diluting samples using mineral oil, recording the dilution factor (e.g. 1 mL oil sample + 3 mL mineral oil = 4 mL total, and a dilution factor of 4), and analyzing the diluted sample as described in the procedure above. How dilute can a sample be and still be detectable and discernible? 2. Try mixing oil samples and analyzing the resulting mixtures. Are their spectra additive and discernible as such? 3. Try other fun things! **C. Share your thoughts** 1. Provide ongoing feedback about the oil testing kit, including hardware, software, and programatic aspects. 2. Utilize Research Notes, the Spectrometry google group, and wiki editing to communicate and exchange knowledge. **** ###Alpha program Before the Beta program, we sent out about 20 prototype "alpha" kits to people around the US to give the oil test kit a try, and refine it to get ready for a bigger release. If you have one **please share what you've done with it** and post any ideas, feedback, complaints, suggestions, questions and modifications you have by using this button: Post about your alpha oil testing kit **** **** ###Banners [![otk-b-flyer.png](https://i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/010/590/medium/otk-b-flyer.png)](https://i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/010/590/original/otk-b-flyer.png)...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
liz "Now that i built a second cuvette holder, i believe that i had an assembly error in this one. " | Read more » about 7 years ago
eustatic "I owe Matej samples. Stevie gave me some brown jars, so i can divide the bulk samples and mail them to him. then, we can zap them independently! S " | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "I agree -- doing several different brightnesses to back off of the highest peaks, then equalizing by height, may help us check if the curve shape i..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Hi, Cindy - can you link to your actual data on SWB? The average should be in the "ideal exposure range" but the important part for the 3 color ch..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Tar Balls over time? Scott, I'd be really interested if you collected a set of a bunch of different tar ball spectra, esp. in different states of ..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
liz "Fantastic and entertaining write-up @eustatic -- thanks all! " | Read more » about 7 years ago
gretchengehrke "Good call, @ethanbass! That is exactly my problem -- I was using my regular LED bike light instead of a CFL. Thanks!!! " | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "I added your #1 spectra from each type to a set: https://spectralworkbench.org/sets/show2/2945 Then equalized height to compare. Which do you thin..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Wow, very clear! Just to link back, here is Diana's profile on Spectral Workbench: https://spectralworkbench.org/profile/DFlores6073 Diana - i see..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
ethanbass "Hmm, how did you use the bike light to calibrate your spectra? If it's an LED, it doesn't have the characteristic peaks that the calibration proced..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
gretchengehrke "Links to spectra sets in Spectral Workbench: ND Crude set: https://spectralworkbench.org/sets/2905 80W90 set: https://spectralworkbench.org/sets/..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
stevie "@Cindy_ExCites :) This was awesome. I'm writing a workshop on calibration and scanning and this was Super helpful :). Any chance you've moved on to..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
mathew "I'm trying to figure out what this flat spot is, its just soo flat! I associate it with a blow out. Digging in to the spectra themselves on your ..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
cindy_excites "Hi @mathew! So you mean that in all the scans above where I see the intense blue channel had overexposure? As in the post https://publiclab.org/wik..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
stevie "Cindy this is awesome :) I'm working on a workshop where participants will need to calibrate. This material is really helpful! Thanks for posting! " | Read more » about 7 years ago
mathew "I haven't seen it on the camera we're using in the current spectrometer, but many other cameras have in-camera software that filters peaks. I'm not..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
ethanbass "Yes, I see what you mean. But I don't understand why it would be clipped to the left of the peak and not at the peak itself, where the intensity is..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
mathew "I may be wrong. this spectra in the RGB channels isn't clipped, but there does appear to be a flat spot that looks a bit like clipping: https://sp..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
ethanbass "which spectrum are you looking at? " | Read more » about 7 years ago
mathew "Cindy the flat spots on your spectra are the blown out blue channel: https://publiclab.org/notes/mathew/09-23-2014/graded-oils-using-uv-fluorescenc..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
mathew "Ethan, the flat spot is clipping of the spectra based on blowing out the blue channel: this is one of the problematic issues mentioned in the ins..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Hello Craig - what light are you using in your scans? I don't see the 405 nm peak from the blue laser; was this by chance a full spectrum white bulb? " | Read more » about 7 years ago
warren "Hi, Ethan - can you demonstrate the variability by taking two scans while pressing vs. not pressing, or pressing differently? That'd be very helpfu..." | Read more » about 7 years ago
eatabean "Have you tried determining the presence of motor oil in a gasoline solution? Do we have enough resolution to do this reliably? jim in Sweden " | Read more » about 7 years ago