Volume 2, Issue 9 (October 2005)
Recent Advances in Gas Chromatographic/Atomic Emission Hetero-Atom Selective Detection for Characterization of Petroleum Streams and Products
The selective detection of organo-compounds containing hetero-atoms is used extensively in the petroleum industry for process control (sulfur, nitrogen, etc.) and additives in fuels (sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, etc.). The most common selective atom detection is performed with atomic emission (AED), sulfur/nitrogen chemiluminescence (SCD, NCD), and photometric (FPD, p-FPD). Atomic emission detection has an advantage over the other selective detectors since in an automated analysis scheme several hetero-elements may be detected for rapid sample screening. This paper describes the unique capabilities of atomic emission detection of fuels and petroleum fractions using several applications. In addition, a simplified version of comprehensive GCxGC that enhances hetero-atom selectivity by significantly reducing the matrix interference from the large hydrocarbon background is coupled with a microwave induced helium plasma atomic emission detector (GCxGC/AED). The GCxGC uses simple valve based flow modulation optimized for samples with a boiling point in the gasoline and jet fuel range. The technique is useful for screening fuels additives, contaminants, etc.