Improvement of existing IDMS procedures for the determination of low sulphur contents in fuel oils

Project Description

The aim of this study is to develop a reliable measurement procedure that can be used in certification of gas oil reference materials having low sulphur contents in the range of 1 to 100 µg·g-1. The gas oils reference materials delivered by LGC are intended for calibration of instruments used for the determination of total sulphur in fuel oils or similar matrices following the next upcoming EU council directive for S in oil.

The existing technique to determine the sulphur amount content in gas-oil is using a High Pressure Asher (HPA) for sample digestion and isotope dilution combined with high precision mass spectrometry (TIMS). This measurement technique is capable to determine the sulphur content in fuel oil materials only down to ∼ 100 µg·g-1 of sulphur. Therefore, the method must be improved in a way that makes it possible to work with smaller sulphur contents. The recovery of sulphur during the chemical treatment and the TIMS measurement technique must be improved.

In a first phase a researcher (N. Pustišek) will be taught how to measure sulphur using the existing measurement procedure developed at IRMM. In a second phase the researcher will have to look for possible ways of improvements. The project partners will try support the research in all possible ways. Once the new procedure is set up the LGC oils can be certified using this method.

In parallel it will be tried at LGC to develop a independent measurement technique that uses microwave digestion and ICP-MS.


Notification received 27 December 2005

Metrology in Chemistry (MC)
Dr Jochen Vogl, BAM (Germany)
Coordinating Institute
BAM (Germany)
Participating Partners
LGC (United Kingdom)
Further Partners
JRC-Geel (BE)