Because of their large volumes and high odor intensities the most significant pollution effect of petroleum refinery process water effluents is the production of tastes and odors in receiving waters. The major organic component of petroleum refinery wastes is the neutral group, consisting of hydrocarbons and closely related compounds which do not form salts with acids or bases. A large proportion of the odorous organic components is contained in the neutral group. The report describes the analysis of the compounds of this group. In this method, organic substances are recovered from the water by adsorption on activated carbon and subsequent elution, then are compared with a sample of refinery waste materials on the basis of elemental analysis, physical and chemical properties, and infrared spectra. To minimize the interference of oxygenated compounds, the method described in this paper utilizes adsorption chromatography on silica gel to remove oxygenated substances.