Sulfur analysis: from crude to fuel

Total sulfur by benchtop XRF or process XRT/XRA

The need for sulfur analysis permeates almost every aspect of the petroleum industry, from upgrading and refining through to transportation and retail. Rigaku offers X-ray based analytical solutions for all of the typical sulfur applications.

Sulfur in distillates, diesel, heavies, crude and marine fuel

The new low cost Rigaku NEX QC benchtop EDXRF delivers compliance with the ASTM D4294 sulfur method (also methods: ISO 20847, ISO 8754, IP 496, IP 336, and JIS K 2541-4) with an easy-to-learn software interface in a robust package specifically designed for the petroleum industry. Optimized for routine determination of sulfur in petroleum, including crudes, heavies, bunker fuel and for upgrading operations, the instrument features an intuitive and modern "icon-driven" touch screen, Smartphone-style interface for easy operation and a built-in thermal printer for convenience. For process gauging, the Rigaku NEX XT X-ray Transmission (XRT) analyzer provides real-time sulfur determination. On-line, real time measurement of sulfur in heavy or light oils satisfies the needs of refineries, pipelines, blending operations, bunkering terminals and other storage facilities.

Ultra low sulfur in road diesel (ULSD) and other fuels

The new Rigaku NEX QC+ benchtop EDXRF instrument delivers compliance with the ISO 13032 sulfur method for ULSD and the high performance Rigaku NEX CG benchtop EDXRF is compliant with the ASTM D7220 method for ULSD.

Analyze sulfur plus other elements from Na through U

All Rigaku EDXRF analyzers have inherent multi-element analysis capability. For example, Rigaku NEX QC is capable of measuring more than just sulfur. Multi-element analysis is important for detecting crude oil contamination or adulteration by the presence of salt and other chlorine-bearing compounds. Left undetected, the presence of Cl can bias the S reading high, and potentially leave the presence of Cl unnoticed. NEX QC has the ability to detect Cl and other elements, and correct for the presence of Cl so that it does not bias the S reading.

Application note 1135: sulfur in diesel fuel by ASTM D4294

ASTM D4294 application summary

Sulfur will always be an important element in crude oils and fuels oils. Sulfur content is regulated in many products, and plays an important role in fuel quality and control of polluting emissions. Around the world regulations are limiting the amount of sulfur allowable in diesel fuels, kerosene, heating oils, etc. Jet fuels also rely on the sulfur content to ensure optimum fuel properties, in addition to emission concerns. Therefore, from characterizing, blending and refining crude oil to the production of various fuel oils, monitoring sulfur content will continue to be a very important measurement. To meet the needs of the industry, we offer the Rigaku NEX QC, a simple and versatile benchtop EDXRF analyzer for the analysis of sulfur (by ASTM D4294) and other elements in petroleum oils and fuels.

ASTM D4294 performance summary

The performance shown here demonstrates the ability of the NEX QC to yield excellent results for the measurement of sulfur in diesel fuel in air, without the need for helium purge. Helium can be used to optimize the low sulfur range. Simple, modern touch screen interface allows for reliable and efficient measurement protocols, and performance meets all international norms for the range 100 ppm into % levels of sulfur, and meets ASTM D4294 and ISO 20847 for measurements below 100 ppm to the ASTM D4294 scope of PLOQ 16 ppm S.

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Application note 1024: ULSD by ASTM D7220

ASTM D7220 application summary

Regulations around the world have limited the amount of sulfur in various fuel oils with particular attention to ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. For many years road diesel has been limited to a maximum sulfur concentration between 10-15 ppm, depending on the region. Now these limits are expanded to all diesel fuel, including use in large engines and off-road diesel engines. In many regions ULSD is also mandated for use as a starter fuel or for back-up electricity generation in coal-fired power plants and nuclear power plants.

Regulations limiting sulfur concentration affects all levels of the petroleum industry around the world, from the price of crude oil, to blending and refining, pipelines, transportation and storage, as well as product quality control at the refinery level and as fuel is delivered to the pump. Employing the advanced Rigaku NEX CG spectrometer, with ASTM D7220, delivers a fast, reliable method of measuring and monitoring ultra-low sulfur concentrations throughout the petroleum industry.

ASTM D7220 performance summary

The results shown here indicates the Rigaku NEX CG EDXRF analyzer gives superior performance for the measurement of ULSD for control and certification of 10-15 ppm S at the pump, as well as lower levels controlled at the refinery. The versatility of the NEX CG make it an ideal tool for the measurement of many other elements and oil matrices as well, such as lube oils, wear metals in oils, used oil and waste oil, and other elemental analysis needs throughout the petroleum industry.

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Application note 1272: ULSD by ISO 13032

ISO 13032 application summary

Regulations around the world have limited the amount of sulfur in various fuels oils with particular attention to ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. For many years road diesel has been limited to a maximum sulfur concentration between 10-15 ppm, depending on the global region. Now these limits are expanded to all diesel fuel, including use in large engines and off-road diesel engines. The results shown here indicate the Rigaku NEX QC+ EDXRF analyzer gives excellent performance for the measurement of ULSD as per standard test method ISO 13032.

ISO 13032 performance summary

Ten repeat analyses of a blank diesel sample containing no sulfur are taken with the sample in static position and the standard deviation is determined. The Lower Limit of Detection (LLD) is then defined as three times the standard deviation. LLD was shown to be less than 1 ppm.

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Application note 1059: process sulfur determination

Process sulfur application overview

On-line, real time X-ray Transmission (XRT) measurment of sulfur (S) in heavy or light oils to satisfy the needs of refineries, pipelines, blending operations, bunkering terminals and other storage facilities. Applications include bunker fuel blending to meet MARPOL Annex VI sulfur restrictions, interface detection of different grade fuels delivered via pipelines, refinery feedstock blending and monitoring, diesel/kerosene blending or production, and the quality monitoring of crude at remote collection and storage facilities.

Process sulfur application background

While in-line sulfur gauging - for blending, switching and QC - has been around for years, older technologies never delivered on their promise because those systems did not produce consistent measurements. For the accurate on-line determination of sulphur, the new Rigaku NEX XT resolves those past issues and is thus the perfect tool for blending operations supplying marine bunker fuels and crude feedstock for refineries. With uniquely engineered hardware and novel proprietary software technologies, the new Rigaku NEX XT system is faster, more sensitive and far more compact than previous generation systems and provides continuous, reliable detection of sulfur from 200 parts-per-million (ppm) to 6.0 wt. %, with analysis times as short as 1 second. The Rigaku NEX XT can operate as a stand-alone analyzer or provide real time closed loop control when tied into a blending or plant wide automation system.

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