Standard Active Last Updated: Jul 31, 2019
ASTM D5623-19

Standard Test Method for Sulfur Compounds in Light Petroleum Liquids by Gas Chromatography and Sulfur Selective Detection

Significance and Use

4.1 Gas chromatography with sulfur selective detection provides a rapid means to identify and quantify sulfur compounds in various petroleum feeds and products. Often these materials contain varying amounts and types of sulfur compounds. Many sulfur compounds are odorous, corrosive to equipment, and inhibit or destroy catalysts employed in downstream processing. The ability to speciate sulfur compounds in various petroleum liquids is useful in controlling sulfur compounds in finished products and is frequently more important than knowledge of the total sulfur content alone.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of volatile sulfur-containing compounds in light petroleum liquids. This test method is applicable to distillates, gasoline motor fuels (including those containing oxygenates) and other petroleum liquids with a final boiling point of approximately 230 °C (450 °F) or lower at atmospheric pressure. The applicable concentration range will vary to some extent depending on the nature of the sample and the instrumentation used; however, in most cases, the test method is applicable to the determination of individual sulfur species at levels of 0.1 mg/kg to 100 mg/kg.

1.2 The test method does not purport to identify all individual sulfur components. Detector response to sulfur is linear and essentially equimolar for all sulfur compounds within the scope (1.1) of this test method; thus both unidentified and known individual compounds are determined. However, many sulfur compounds, for example, hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans, are reactive and their concentration in samples may change during sampling and analysis. Coincidently, the total sulfur content of samples is estimated from the sum of the individual compounds determined; however, this test method is not the preferred method for determination of total sulfur.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 05.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D02.04.0L
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/D5623-19
ICS Code: 75.160.20