Application Brief

Analysis of Oils Using ICP-OES with Radial Plasma Observation

The elemental analysis of oils is important for many petroleum laboratories and refining processes. Samples can be crude oils, new and used lubricating oils, gas or fuel oils, and the elements to be analyzed vary with the product.

In crude oils, sulfur, alkali elements, vanadium, copper, nickel, iron, arsenic and phosphorus are of importance to characterize the oil and to avoid deactivation of catalysts in the refining process. For wear metals in lubricating oils, aluminum, copper, nickel or iron can be indicative of wear in oil-wetted components. Other elements like silicon, magnesium or potassium can be indicative of contamination of the oil. And also, the correct addition of elements, such as molybdenum, calcium, barium, phosphorus, and zinc must be monitored.

ICP-OES instruments, due to their multi element capability, high dynamic linear range, stability, and low detection limits are suggested in several standard procedures for oil and fuel analysis.

In this report, the analysis using the new SPECTRO ARCOS with radial plasma observation demonstrates a simple, fast, accurate and precise method for the simultaneous determination of trace elements, wear metals, additives as well as chlorine and sulphur in oil matrices. The easy sample preparation and low detection limits, combined with the high sample throughput of the method ensures low costs of analysis and enables its use for various applications in the petrochemical field.

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