Canine Oil Detection – Using Odor Signatures to Improve Training Detection Proficiency on Land and Water

Project Number
Progress Date
Project Initiation Date
Performing Activity
Principal Investigator
Lauryn DeGreeff
Contracting Agency
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
Contract Award Value
Estimated Completion Date

The objectives of this research are first to determine the odor profile associated with spilled and obscured petroleum products used by the canine for detection and then use this knowledge to probe current canine detection limitations. The Naval Research Laboratory will develop and optimize methods of analysis for weathered crude oil using solid phase microextraction (SPME) with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and liquid injection with GC-MS for odor profile assessment. Chiron K9 will perform all canine training and testing. Oversight for both laboratory and canine testing will be provided by Owens Coastal Consultants to ensure operational work relevance.

Latest progress update

NRL scientists developed and optimized a headspace analysis method for determination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) profiles from fresh and weathered crude oils using SPME-GC/MS. Headspace of two different oils was further investigated with chromatographic peak identification. Deconvolution software was developed for the objective comparison of the complex chromatograms allowing for statistical comparison of the similarity between crude oil sources. Separately, Chiron K-9 designed, fabricated, and successfully tested a sample container to deploy the water-soluble vapor of oil targets in a water environment. The final report will be posted upon acceptance.

In Progress
Peer Review Status