October 2013

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Facility&Operations | By Tom Samples, John Sorochan and Adam Thoms A T TIMES, petroleum products may spill or leak onto sports fields maintained with motorized power equipment. Fuel, oil, hydraulic and brake fluids, and grease can injure turfgrasses and have the potential to pollute soil, surface water bodies and groundwater. Turf injury symptoms often vary depending on the type of leak or spill. For example, hydraulic fluid leaks tend to damage turf in a straight line pattern, while a gasoline spill often causes an irregularly shaped, circular dead area of turf with a very distinct edge or margin. The amount of time turfgrasses require to recover after contacting petroleum often depends on a number of factors including the product type, volume, temperature and ingredients, and soil and climatic conditions. Petroleum products contain carbon - 83 to 87%; hydrogen - 10 to 14%; nitrogen - 0.1 to 2%; oxygen - 0.05 to 1.5%; sulfur - 0.05 to 6.0%; and metals - < 0.1%. Petroleum-contaminated soil and water may prevent turfgrass seeds from germinating, restrict photosynthesis or kill plants. Products are categorized based on their composition and intended use. Gasoline is a mix of hydrocarbons with a chemical formula of C4 to C12. Other substances including anti-rust and anti-icing agents and detergents may be added to improve performance. Gasoline often contains more than 500 individual compounds, is insoluble in water at a temperature of 68oF, has a boiling temperature of 80 to 437oF and has a flash point of -45oF. Depending on the refinement process, gasoline contains 85-88% carbon, 12-15% hydrogen and no oxygen. Ethanol, with a chemical formula of CH3CH2OH, can be produced by fermenting sugars from corn, and distilling the fermented solution. This fuel can also be produced from the cellulose of several plants including switchgrass. Almost all of the ethanol used for industrial purposes contains 5% water. Ethanol has a boiling temperature of 172oF, a freezing temperature of -142.5oF and a flash point of 55oF. Ten percent ethanol is often mixed with 90% gasoline to create gasohol. Ethanol is also available as a high-level blend known as E85 for use in flexible fuel vehicles. Diesel Fuel, like gasoline, contains hydrocarbons and additives. Additives may reduce wear and oxidation, deactivate metals or improve ignition and stability. Number 2 diesel fuels have a chemical formula of C8 to C25, a flash point of 165oF, and contain 84-87% carbon, 13-16 % hydrogen and no oxygen. 24 SportsTurf | October 2013 Motor oil is classified according to viscosity standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). In general, high-viscosity oils are "thick" compared to low-viscosity oils, which are considered to be "thin." Each standard grade of motor oil is defined by viscosity in accordance with SAE J300 specifications. Multi-grade or multi-viscous oils (for example SAE 5W-30 and 10W-30) are formulated to lubricate engine parts at both low and high temperatures. The cold-temperature standard (W or "winter" grade) specifies the maximum cold temperature viscosity, and the warm-temperature standard specifies the minimum high-temperature viscosity. Hydraulic fluid, a very versatile hydrocarbon-containing product, is capable of performing at high temperatures (for example, 110 to 130oF) and pressures (for example, 3000 psi or greater). The base fluid may be a refined mineral oil, synthetically produced or bio-based, and may have fire-retardant properties. Typical additives include: corrosion (0.05-1.0%) and oxidation (0.2-1.5%) inhibitors, de-foaming (2-20ppm), anti-wear (0.5-2.0%) and antifriction (0.1-0.75%) agents, and detergents (0.02-0.2%). Hydraulic fluid usually has a flashpoint at least 68oF higher than the maximum fluid "working" temperature. Atomized hydraulic fluid leaking from a hose may catch fire if exposed to an ignition source. Brake Fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid. Presently, three material groups: mineral oil, silicon or polyglycon ether (glycol), are used as brake fluids. Brake fluids with a glycol base are most widely used commercially. The boiling point varies among the brake fluid grades established by the Department of Transportation (DOT). For example, the dry boiling point of DOT Grades 3, 4, 5 and 5.1 is 401oF, 446oF, 500oF and 500oF, respectively. With the exception of DOT 5 (silicon base), the pH of these fluids must be no lower than 7.0 and no higher than 11.5. Grease used for lubrication is recognized by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM D 288, Standard Definitions of Terms Relating to Petroleum) as "A solid to semifluid product of dispersion of a thickening agent in liquid lubricant. Other ingredients imparting special properties may be included." The combination of base oil, thickener and additives affect the viscosity and intended function. Grease is usually classified according to thickness on a 0 (soft) to 6 (firm) scale. Turfgrasses are capable of removing pollutants from soil and water. For example, researchers at Kansas State University deter- Petroleum Illustration © Identifying and managing petroleum spills and leaks on turf

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