SPECTRO New Application Reports: Reliable Biofuels Testing

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Efficient Element Analysis with XRF and ICP OES Enables Continuous Monitoring of Biofuel Quality and Contents
Application Reports for Biofuel Analysis with SPECTRO PHOENIX II, SPECTRO iQ II, SPECTRO GENESIS and SPECTRO ARCOS Available Free-of-Charge at www.spectro.com
Kleve, September 2007 – Biofuels quickly are becoming an important ecological alternative to gasoline and diesel. Elemental analysis with X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and optical emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-OES) is well suited to the monitoring of bio-fuel components and biofuel blend quality and contents.

SPECTRO, one of the world’s leading suppliers of both analytical technologies, has developed new applications for the elemental analysis of biofuels that are now available for the SPECTRO PHOENIX II and SPECTRO iQ II XRF instruments and for the SPECTRO GENESIS and SPECTRO ARCOS ICP-OES instruments.

Drawing on years of practical experience analyzing conventional fuels, SPECTRO has offers a comprehensive information package for analyzing bio-fuels available on Internet at www.spectro.com. New application reports document continuous monitoring of the quality of bio-fuels with the four SPECTRO instruments, while remaining in compliance with the relevant fuel regulations and specifications. Visitors to the site also will find a new online brochure with information dealing with current fuel legislation. 

“Within the framework of climate protection, biofuels are receiving a great deal of attention as well as political backing. In many industrial nations, laws facilitating the use of alternatives to gasoline and diesel are under consideration or already in place,” explains Dirk Wissmann, Product Manager for X-ray fluorescence analysis at SPECTRO. “The European Union is leading the way: Their 2003/30/CE directive compels fuel manufacturers to increase the share of bio-fuels on the fuel market from today’s 2 percent to 5.75 percent by 2010.”  

Before manufacturers or suppliers bring large amounts of biofuels onto the free-market, analytical procedures for the continuous monitoring of their contents need to be well defined. Bio-gasolines from sugar cane and biodiesels from palm, rapeseed and coconut are considered to be ecologically harmless. Their bio components contain no harmful materials, such as benzene and toluene, and produce little damaging emissions. 

Although Bio-gasolines are currently used as fuel extenders for upwards of 10% of regular fuels, these fuels may contain sulfur--an element for which strict limiting values in fuels are in effect worldwide that needs to be closely monitored. In addition, vegetable oils contain phosphorous in the form of phospholipids, which in higher concentrations may lead to the formation of abrasive deposits that can cause engine damage. High concentrations of alkali and alkaline earth elements, including sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, also can lead to corrosion damage in filters and fuel injectors. For these reasons, limiting values have been defined for the above named elements in biodiesel, and limiting values have been set for chlorine, copper and lead as well in bioethanol and bioethanol-gasoline mixtures.

The SPECTRO iQ II and SPECTRO PHOENIX  II XRF instruments are well suited to measurement of sulfur content. The SPETCRO iQ II also can be used to screen for phosphorous, potassium, calcium, copper and lead. The SPECTRO ARCOS and SPECTRO GENESIS ICP-OES instruments are capable of monitoring relevant limiting values for all of the above.

Fuel manufacturers and suppliers searching for detailed information dealing with the analysis of bio-fuels will find a comprehensive info-packet at www.spectro.com. A new brochure in which the current legal situation is discussed also is available free-of-charge for download in addition to many application reports.

About SPECTRO:
SPECTRO is one of the worldwide leading suppliers of analytical instruments for optical emission and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. As a member of the AMETEK Materials Analysis Division, SPECTRO manufactures advanced instruments, develops the best solutions for strongly varying applications and provides exemplary customer service. Innovation, instrument concerns and customer relations are its main activities. From its foundation in 1979 until today, more than 26,000 analytical instruments have been delivered to customers around the world.

AMETEK, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with an annual turnover of approximately 1.8 billion US$. AMETEK’s corporate growth plan is based on four key strategies: Operative excellence, strategic acquisitions and alliances, geographic and market expansion as well as new products. AMETEK’s common stock is a component of the S&P MidCap 400 Index and the Russell 1000 Index.

Please contact Tom Milner for additional information, Tel: +49.2821.892-0, 
Fax: +49.2821.892-2200, E-Mail: spectro.info@ametek.com