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A very rapid method of determining lead in gasoline without preliminary treatment is provided by the new flame photometry attachment with integral burner-atomizer for the Beckman Model DU quartz spectrophotometer. At 405.8 mμ in the oxy-hydrogen or oxy-acetylene flame, the instrument is sensitive to 0.001 ml of tetraethyllead per gal and precise to 0.01 ml. Linearity is exact and the instrument can be made direct-reading. Accurate comparisons may, according to the procedure here described, be made only between gasolines of the same base stock or of not more than two different stocks. A technique is suggested whereby it should become possible, with modified burners, to use the spectral background as internal standard in comparing different stocks, without recourse to unleaded blanks or more than one standard; alternatively, viscosity measurements made with the burner itself should also make possible such internal standardization. With a suitable single standard, routine determinations accurate to 0.01 ml per gal can be carried out at the rate of 30 or more samples per hr.
Beckman Instruments, Inc., South Pasadena, Calif.