Elemental analysis of heavy (residual) fuel oil

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Application Note

  • Published: May 16, 2012
  • Author: Thermo Scientific
  • Copyright: Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Suppliers: Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Products: X-ray
  • Channels: X-ray Spectrometry

The broad term “heavy fuel oil” refers to the highest boiling-point distillate fractions and non-boiling residuum of refined crude oils, used as fuel for industrial heaters, boilers and engines. Of the total recent global production of 530 million metric tons of heavy fuel oil, 54 % was consumed in the marine fuel market to power the huge compression ignition engines of the world’s ocean-going ships. Terms such as residual marine fuel, marine fuel oil and bunker fuel oil are used in industry for the 10 different fuel grades described by the ISO 8217 (2005) marine fuel standard.

The ISO 8217 marine fuel standard specifically references wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) as a preferred analysis method for sulfur, vanadium and nickel analysis per ISO test methods 14596 and 14597. The WDXRF technique provides well-known advantages in overall speed of analysis owing to ease of sample prep (no dilution required) and excellent precision and stability from ppm to percentage concentrations across multiple elements. In addition, the British Institute of Petroleum (IP) proposed a new industry test standard in 2009 specifically for WDXRF analysis of residual fuel oil covering ten elements of interest mentioned above.

In this study we evaluate the suitability of the Thermo Scientific ARL OPTIM’X spectrometer for analysis of heavy residual fuel oil per typical international test protocols.

Read the full Application Note - AN41714 (PDF: 681 KB)

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