Customer Application Note 118: Determination of Trace Sodium in Diesel and Biodiesel Fuel demonstrates that this ion chromatography method can provide 10–100 times greater sensitivity than the inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry method and does not require manual extraction steps. Eluent generation and a continuously regenerated suppressor for conductivity detection further simplify the method and increase ease of use.
Automotive diesel engines with common rail direct fuel injectors are susceptible to fuel contamination that sometimes results in mechanical blockages. Sodium salts contribute to such blockages. Possible sources of this sodium contamination include the remaining catalyst from biodiesel fuel production, drying agents, corrosion inhibitors, sea water from tanks (ballast water), and sodium components from pipelines. Therefore, laboratories tasked with fuel analysis need a cost-effective method that is simple, fast, and sensitive for the determination of trace sodium in diesel fuel.