Sulfur Analysis in Fuels: SPECTRO XEPOS Achieves Detection Limit of 1 mg/kg

Friday, February 14, 2003

February 2003 With the energy-dispersive XRF system SPECTRO XEPOS for the analysis of sulfur in fuels, SPECTRO advances into measurement ranges that were previously restricted to the significantly more expensive wavelength-dispersive XRF instruments. The bench top XEPOS achieves a detection limit of less than 1 mg/kg for sulfur in fuels.

Recently there has been an international push to reduce the limits of sulfur in fuels. By 2010, the maximum allowed content of sulfur will decrease to 10 mg/kg in gasoline and 50 mg/kg in diesel fuel. For analyses methods used in the petrochemical industry this means, in turn, that the detection limit should be a factor of 10 less than the required limits. Thus, conventional energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis, the cost-effective and user-friendly standard method for oil laboratories, will become obsolete.

The technologically advanced ED-XRF SPECTRO XEPOS, however, achieves the required sulfur detection limit of less than 1 mg/kg. The primary reason for this can be found in the proprietary polarized excitation radiation, which enables an almost complete suppression of the spectral background, increasing sensitivity by a factor of four versus conventional energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometers. A high-resolution, peltier cooled, Si drift chamber is used as a detection system, eliminating the need for liquid nitrogen cooling.

One calibration for all measurement ranges

The new low-sulfur application is provided by SPECTRO precalibrated. The settings are pre-programmed so that the instrument can be used for measurements in the range of sulfur-free fuels (0 – 10 mg/kg), low-sulfur fuels (10 – 50 mg/kg) and standard fuels (50 – 500 mg/kg) within one analytical method setup. The scope of supply includes newly developed, leak-proof, sample cups, which ensure a constant distance between the sample and detector increasing analytical precision.

Founded in 1979, SPECTRO develops, manufactures and distributes state-of-the-art ICP, XRF and Arc/Spark spectrometers. Within each product line, SPECTRO markets an extensive selection of instruments: from the niche specific to multi-purpose laboratory and on-line models. Adaptable and innovative, SPECTRO instruments are found in a variety of environments including metals and aerospace industries, agronomy, quality control, environmental, and research oriented activities such as Pharmaceutical.

SPECTRO - the global leader in Optical Emission and XRF Spectroscopy, is a multinational company committed to innovation, instrumentation support and service. With more than 500 employees, SPECTRO has shipped over 19,000 instruments to customers throughout the world. SPECTRO is committed to producing advanced products, better and more diverse solutions, and providing an unparalleled support infrastructure.

Please contact Tom Milner for additional information, Tel: +49.2821.892-0, 
Fax: +49.2821.892-2200, E-Mail: