Published: Jan 1965
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Presenting a group of papers on non-hydrocarbons in a symposium on hydrocarbon analysis appears like a case of mistaken identity. However, the mistake that must be avoided today is the non-identification of impurities in hydrocarbons. The determination of extraneous materials in hydrocarbons or hydrocarbon mixtures is important whether the impurities are hydrocarbons or non-hydrocarbons. Thus, it is one thing to analyze a sample of toluene and say it is 99.8 per cent toluene but unless the 0.2 per cent of material is identified, it can cast doubt on the suitability of the product to be used for many purposes. The group of papers which we have this afternoon discuss some of the ways in which extraneous materials may be identified. Two general trends of petroleum analysis problems are considered. One is the increasing activity of the petroleum industry in manufacturing chemicals - petrochemicals, if you please. New standards of purity have been brought to the chemical market place by this activity, and the ingenuity of the petroleum chemist has contributed much. A second trend is the use of heavier crude oils where the non-hydrocarbon content becomes greater. For some of these oils the non-hydrocarbon material may become almost predominant. Similar conditions would result if shale oil becomes a charge stock for petroleum processes. The separation and identification of sulfur and nitrogen compounds is a difficult and painstaking task, especially during the methods development stage. The papers this afternoon will cover the present status of such research and consider possible modifications for the future.
Ball, J. S.
U.S. Bureau of Mines, Bartlesville, Okla.