Application Brief

Biodiesel Analysis Using ICP-OES

Biodiesel, an alternative diesel fuel composed of fatty acid alkyl esters instead of petroleum, is produced from natural sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats. It is said to be cleaner burning than petroleum-derived diesel fuels, and to help improve environmental conditions while increasing energy sustainability and security.

Manufacturing biodiesel requires close analysis of its composition. Monitoring of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium is usually necessary, since these elements can form undesirable compounds that may cause engine failures, can affect emission performance and control, and may be subject to regulation.

ICP-OES instruments are frequently used for biodiesel analysis especially now that recent advances in technology have reduced the cost of entry-level models.

This paper covers biodiesel analysis using an ICP-OES analyzer. Testing examined whether this instrument displayed required characteristics — such as high precision, exceptional stability, low detection limits, and efficient sample preparation — for fast, simultaneous determination of elements of interest.

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