Public Lab Research note

Oil Test Kit Round 2

by liz | January 11, 2016 01:28 11 Jan 01:28 | #12576 | #12576

I wanted to run through the Oil Test Kit again and see if i could improve my results. So, I started from scratch built a new cuvette holder (this one included the light-blocking flap, cool!) and a new spectrometer.

In this session, besides the mineral oil, I only scanned two concentrations of diesel, and crude oil, but i scanned each of them 6 times and kept the most similar scans in the sets below:

Mineral Oil:




Crude Oil (3 drops in a cuvette of mineral oil)


Crude Oil (full strength):


Next Thoughts

Again, as I had the first time using the OTK, I deepened the slot in the cuvette holder where the fluorescence shines out to be read by the spectrometer. This slot needs to be open lower to better line up with the spectrometer slit.

Getting good reads of spectra seems to require continuous holding/adjusting/positioning of the cuvette holder in relation to the spectrometer. I'm wondering if other people had this experience.


@liz, I have had the same experience with positioning & repositioning the cuvette. In addition, I also cut a bigger opening in the cuvette holder in order to get the fluorescing light shining through spectroscope slot. (picture of cut attached) IMG_0311.jpg

Coke cap positioner:


Experimenting with fixes with the cuvette holder, the best work-around for now has been a coke bottle cap with an X of 2-sided tape. By placing the cap in the corner, and centering the X, placement was easier, and the cuvette was upright, perpendicular, more reliably. It's a makeshift work-around from the weekend. Tape needed replacing after multiple uses.

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