Kleve, Germany — The use of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) spectroscopy to cut production delays from days to minutes in the at-line analysis of sulfur in fuels is discussed in a  new application brief available to download from http://goo.gl/XX30rJ.

Sulfur content is a key quality determinant for many petroleum products. A better understanding of the sulfur content in fuels impacts both production processing and assists compliance with government regulations. Traditionally, the analysis of sulfur in fuels has been performed in the laboratory using XRF spectroscopy. This practice, however, often results in production delays due to the time required to transport samples from the line to the laboratory, as well as the time samples spend waiting in queue at the lab to be processed.

Now, a new generation of portable ED-XRF spectrometers has enabled the rapid and accurate at-line analysis—right at the production line—for many applications requiring the detection of sulfur in fuels. With portable ED-XRF spectrometry, at-line analysis can be performed from samples collected from any process point, and it fully conforms to the ASTM D4294 requirement for analysis time of 1 to 5 min per sample.

The new application brief, "At-Line Analysis of Sulfur in Fuels According to ASTM D4294 Using ED-XRF Spectroscopy," details tests comparing laboratory and at-line analyses of sulfur in fuels and production samples. The at-line analysis was conducted using a SPECTROSCOUT portable spectrometer, which provided laboratory-level accuracy, required minimal sample preparation, excellent reliability, and showed compliance with criteria set out in ASTM D4294.

The brief also provides helpful guidance for the specification and selection of an at-line ED-XRF system, including factors to consider when comparing ED-XRF spectrometers—and notes the vast differences in instrument performance, ease of use, and suitability for the at-line analysis of sulfur in fuels.

Download the new brief, “At-Line Analysis of Sulfur in Fuels According to ASTM D4294 Using ED-XRF Spectroscopy,” from http://goo.gl/XX30rJ. The brief is authored by SPECTRO Analytical Instruments, a leading global supplier of analytical instruments for optical emission and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.