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Q: Which chemicals in are No. 2 fuel oil; basement oil spill. ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: Which chemicals in are No. 2 fuel oil; basement oil spill.
Category: Science > Chemistry
Asked by: ihateoilspills-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 29 Apr 2006 22:41 PDT
Expires: 29 May 2006 22:41 PDT
Question ID: 724045

What chemicals can be found in home heating fuel (No. 2 fuel oil) as
gases and liquids?

Of those chemicals, what chemicals can the human nose detect? What
chemicals is the human nose not able to detect?

In other words, what chemicals has the oil spill introduced to my household air? 

Please provide an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for each chemical
found in home heating oil.



Just today my home heating oil tank leaked No. 2 fuel oil onto my
concrete basement floor!!! The fire department used Oil-Dry (similar
to kitty litter) to pick up the surface oil. However, the basement
floor is saturated with oil. Likewise, my basement smells like oil. 
In fact, my whole two-story home smells like oil. I have all windows
open and I'm running (exhaust) window fans in the basement.

The oil formed a puddle of about 8 by 10 feet in the middle of the
basement floor. Thankfully the concrete walls aren't contaminated with
oil, just the floor! The oil missed the supportive columns as well!

I contacted my state DEP and Health Department and they won't offer
advice because the spill was contained within my basement and
(according to them) is not an environmental hazard. My Home Owner's
Insurance won't cover anything because the tank had rusted. The tank
was only five years old, as old as my home. Granby Steel Company won't
pay for the new tank because the defunct tank had a three-year
replacement warranty.

I've scheduled an appointment with a concrete company. They will use
special concrete saws to remove the contaminated concrete. Afterwards
they'll pour fresh concrete.  My appointment is next week.

Once the contaminated concrete is removed and I air out the house, I
will hire someone to do an air quality test.

All together, I will owe $30,000 to remove the concrete, replace the
oil tank, test the air, and so on! I'll be near bankrupt.

I live in a rural part of my state, and all the companies who
specialize in oil clean up work near the state capital, which is 2
hours away. I have to pay for their travel time.

I have forced warm air/ air conditioning, so the furnace will drag any
odor from the basement to the upstairs.

Request for Question Clarification by tlspiegel-ga on 29 Apr 2006 23:29 PDT
Hi ihateoilspills,

I found the following information for you.  Please clarify if this
answers your question.
Chemcal Family:  Hydrocarbon Distillates

See Section 2 for a more indepth description



Best regards,

Clarification of Question by ihateoilspills-ga on 30 Apr 2006 21:33 PDT
Dear tlspiegel, 

That does not answer my question. 

I want to know the name of every chemical that is found in home
heating fuel (No. 2 fuel oil).

I want an MSDS for each chemical that is found in No. 2 fuel oil. 

I want to know which chemicals found in No. 2 fuel oil have an odor.

Request for Question Clarification by tlspiegel-ga on 30 Apr 2006 22:15 PDT
Thank you.  Perhaps another researcher will be able to help.

Best regards,
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Which chemicals in are No. 2 fuel oil; basement oil spill.
From: fstokens-ga on 03 May 2006 11:58 PDT
As I understand it, "fuel oil" is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons,
so getting a list of every chemical it contains would be extremely
difficult.  However, most of the chemicals are pretty similar to each
other, so you really don't need a rap sheet on each one of them.  An
MSDS for "No. 2 fuel oil" can be found at:

Removing the contaminated concrete should take care of the problem. 
It may take some time for the house to finish airing out, but once the
source of the oil is removed, the smell should decrease fairly
Subject: Re: Which chemicals in are No. 2 fuel oil; basement oil spill.
From: sudsman-ga on 11 May 2006 20:55 PDT
I am not a chemist, but I do heat my home and water with a wood oil
combination furnace.  Sometimes I get fuel oil on the concrete when I
change the nozzle ends, change the filter coming from the tank and
bleeding the lines after replacing the filter and nozzle.    My advice
to you is to sop up the oil with any kind of product, such as wood
dust, kitty litter,  or some kind of sweeping compound. After you
remove the oil impregnated sweeping compound, cover the contaminated
area with liberal amounts of vinegar.  Let it sit, until the fuel oil
smell dissapates and remove with warm water, chlorine bleach and a
good quality mop.  You smell should be gone soon enough.  I do this
every year in the fall. (Yes I am Canadian and I put vinegar it on my
french fries too!)

I have heard one story from a furnace repairman that a house was
written off as the fuel oil fumes impregnated all the fabric furniture
and gyprock...

That is why I clean the fuel oil spill as soon as I complete my yearly
maintenance job with my heating system.

Good Luck
Subject: Re: Which chemicals in are No. 2 fuel oil; basement oil spill.
From: satyag-ga on 12 Jun 2006 16:10 PDT
No. 2 fuel oil or heating oil contains mercaptans that give out foul
odor after even a spill of drop.  This helps in detection of a spill
in a home.  The down side is the continuation of odor for a very long
time.  However, it is not difficult to get rid of fumes and many have
used our product called VaporRemed to help them eliminate heating oil
fumes.  As commented by the earlier author, it is necessary to remove
the source of spill and the fumes or odors are gone.  Hope this helps.
 Best of luck.
Subject: Re: Which chemicals in are No. 2 fuel oil; basement oil spill.
From: idno-ga on 12 Nov 2006 20:36 PST
I used vaporremed in my mother basement, she had an oil tank overflow
4 years ago the oil company blamed it on my mother due to inadiquate
tank maintenance on the float. would not claim responsiblity.
   After trying everything I could think of to other than ripping up
the concrete to try to get rid of the smell and the stain, I googled
and yahooed what I could do,I came across this site with this
   I followed the lead to Vaporremed. I was hesitant at first about
the cost and hassel of shipping it to Montreal, then ordered it.
I followed the insructions, within a few minutes the oil smell slowly
disappeared, there was a slight vegetable oil smell but that was it. I
had my mother spray the area down every few days. Then she put down
kitty litter to absorb the slime that was there. It worked, there is
just a small stain left on the concrete and no smell at all.
  This after 4 years of putting up with the oil smell, especially in
the winter when the windows were closed up. And after we cleaned up
that spill the oil tank developed a leak (it was 46 years old, I was 7
when my father built the house) Perfect timing , cleaned up that mess
and put in a new smaller tank
so check it out , this is no bull and not meant to be a plug but it
worked for me and it may help you save time and money.

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