Sulfur Analysis in Petroleum Products by Benchtop WDXRF According to ASTM D2622-10

This application note demonstrates quantitative analysis of sulfur in petroleum products according to ASTM D2622-10 on Rigaku Supermini200, a benchtop wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) spectrometer.


Crude oil contains sulfur in concentration from 0.5 mass% to 5.0 mass% typically, and sulfur is one of critical elements in refinery processes and final products.

Sulfur in petroleum-based fuels contributes to atmospheric pollution; therefore, sulfur content in fuels, especially in automobile fuels, is strictly controlled. Sulfur also causes damage to process components such as catalysts in refinery processes. Therefore, control of sulfur content is very important in the petroleum industry from the standpoints of both environmental and production costs.

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry has been used for quantitative analysis of sulfur in petroleum products, owing to simple sample preparation. In XRF analysis of oil, the sample is simply poured into a plastic cup equipped with a transparent film without any complicated treatment, such as chemical decomposition or serial dilution. In addition, concentration of total sulfur is obtained in XRF analysis.

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