Fuel Analysis

  • Overview +


    Analysis of fuels for today’s diverse markets must cover a wide range of materials from gasoline or diesel fuels, liquid fuels derived from biological materials (biofuels), synthesized liquid fuels and oxygenates as fuels to residual or bunker fuel oil. Such fuels are used for aviation, automotive, burner, diesel, gas turbine, and marine services.

    Worldwide, there are many specifications that require very precise fuel analysis, especially for sulfur content. In some areas of the world, trace metal analysis must be used to detect small amounts of lead, a gasoline additive that is being phased out. Elemental analysis of lead or potassium and manganese (from lead replacement additives) can support monitoring of this phasing out. Elements like nickel, vanadium and iron in residual fuel oil (bunker fuel) and catalyst fines like aluminum and silicon in fuel oil are additional parameters of interest.

    SPECTRO’s technology for fuel analysis allows the industry to measure from below 10 ppm up to percentage levels of sulfur in fuels to guarantee compliance with federal government agency requirements, predict SOx emissions or the value of crude oil. The highly developed technology at SPECTRO also enables trace metal analysis, the measurement of low levels of metal elements, such as potassium, manganese, aluminum, silicon, nickel, vanadium and iron, to ensure that the fuels from “today and the future” continue to be optimized for engine emission as well as to provide trouble-free motoring. Currently available specifications and test methods for trace metal analysis list up to 25 elements at trace levels.

    Fuel Oil Analysis for Sulfur

    With federal and international sulfur dioxide emission regulations becoming more and more stringent, the determination of sulfur content in crude oils, diesel and other fuels is becoming a critical element in characterizing fuels. Fuel analysis, diesel oil analysis, and crude oil analysis for sulfur determination is critical not only because sulfur emissions affect the environment when fuel is burned but also because the price of crude oils and refining costs can be impacted by the sulfur content.  SPECTRO’s analyzers can measure sulfur from below 10 ppm up to 5% - meeting every sulfur-in-fuel testing requirement.

    Diesel Fuel Testing of Marine Fuels

    Meeting government regulations, minimizing operational costs and maximizing profits are all key aspects of the fuel industries of today and create the demand for increased bunker and diesel fuel testing. As a result of MARPOL Annex VI, SECAs (SOx Emission Control Areas) have been put in place in Baltic and North Sea. In an effort to reduce pollution in ports and coastal waters, regions around the world are also beginning to limit the maximum allowable sulfur dioxide emission, increasing the importance of diesel fuel testing and bunker fuel testing. Routine bunker and diesel fuel testing also helps to reduce engine failures at sea.

    Oil Testing of Biofuels

    To keep pace with the rapidly emerging developments of new biofuels, including second generation biomaterials, one of the key industry challenges is to ensure customer confidence in consistent quality ensuring low levels of soap building elements and phosphorous using advanced, precise, easy to use analytical technology. Oil Testing ensures extender products or finished blends meet the biofuel specifications.

    One Source for Complete Elemental Analysis of Fuels

    With a complete range of Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (ED-XRF) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission (ICP-OES) Spectrometers, SPECTRO’s unique solutions for at-line and laboratory fuel testing are capable of meeting the most demanding product specification testing requirements.


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