ASTM D3120 - 08(2014)

    Standard Test Method for Trace Quantities of Sulfur in Light Liquid Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Oxidative Microcoulometry

    Active Standard ASTM D3120 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.03

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.01


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 This test method is used to determine the concentration of sulfur in light liquid hydrocarbons, gasoline, and diesels and their additives, where such concentrations of sulfur can be detrimental to their production, performance, and use. The measurement of sulfur in the production and final product of gasoline and diesel is required for both regulatory purposes and to ensure maximum life expectancy of catalytic converters used in the automotive industry.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of sulfur concentration in the range from 3.0 to 1000 mg/kg in light liquid hydrocarbons and fuels with oxygenates boiling in the range from 26 to 274°C (80 to 525°F).

    Note 1: Preliminary data has shown that this test method is also applicable to the determination of sulfur in denatured fuel ethanol (Specification D4806), automotive spark ignition engine fuel (Specification D4814), Ed75–Ed85 (Specification D5798) or gasoline-oxygenate fuel blends with greater than 10% ethanol. However, the precision for these materials has not been determined. Subcommittee D02.03 is undertaking activities to obtain precision statements for these materials.

    1.2 Other materials falling within the distillation range specified in 1.1, but having sulfur concentrations above 1000 mg/kg, may be tested using appropriate dilutions to bring them within the specified limit. In addition, sample types that may be outside the specified distillation range, such as diesels and biodiesels, may be analyzed by this test method.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. The preferred units are milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg).

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.For specific hazard statements, see Sections 7 – 9.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    D1298 Test Method for Density, Relative Density (Specific Gravity), or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Method

    D4052 Test Method for Density, Relative Density, and API Gravity of Liquids by Digital Density Meter

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4177 Practice for Automatic Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4806 Specification for Denatured Fuel Ethanol for Blending with Gasolines for Use as Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel

    D4814 Specification for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel

    D5798 Specification for Ethanol Fuel Blends for Flexible-Fuel Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines

    D6299 Practice for Applying Statistical Quality Assurance and Control Charting Techniques to Evaluate Analytical Measurement System Performance

    OSHA Regulations


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.080 (Petroleum products in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101500(Petroleum and distillates)


    DOI: 10.1520/D3120-08R14

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