Petroleum gases and natural gas are longstanding contributors to the world’s energy needs. Monitoring sulfur and nitrogen compounds in these products is very important, not only to protect expensive catalysts and ensure product quality, but also to protect the environment and human health. The analysis of gaseous sulfur compounds is challenging because they are polar, reactive, and present in widely varying concentrations.

Total Sulfur (TS) and its compounds are present in virtually all petroleum products and lubricants — from crude oils to the ultra-low sulfur fuels of the future. The sulfur levels in these products vary from the highest amounts in the crude oils and some lubricants to trace levels in the currently proposed road fuels. Sulfur oxides formed during the combustion of gasolines or diesel fuels in internal combustion engines are undesirable because of the damage they do to the engine and to the environment. In the atmosphere, sulfur oxides convert to sulfuric acid by reaction with moisture, and harm vegetation, aquatic, animal and human life.

Total Nitrogen (TN) is an important component in the manufacture of chemical and petrochemical products. In its liquid form, nitrogen is used by the oil industry to build up pressure in wells to force crude oil to the surface. However, high concentration of nitrogen in chemical and petrochemical products has a negative impact on the refinery process. Nitrogen poisons catalysts thereby reducing their efficiency, shortening their lifespan and increasing operation costs. This causes serious problems to many chemical and petrochemical plants which have moved into the production of light products where catalysts play an important role. Nitrogen effects are particularly detrimental in the case of aromatics and olefins that are saturated by a hydro-treating process. Additionally, nitrogen may cause the formation of insoluble sediments and gums in some petroleum products under conditions of ambient and extended storage, thus lowering the stability of these products.

ASTM is a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services. ASTM’s members, representing producers, users, consumers, government, and academia from over 100 countries, develop technical documents that are a basis for manufacturing, management, procurement, codes, and regulations. ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants was formed in 1904, and currently has jurisdictions over 814 standards. These standards have, and continue to play, a preeminent role in all aspects relating to the standardization of Petroleum Products and Lubricants.

EST Analytical’s NexiS TN/TS is a total nitrogen sulfur combustion analyzer that offers fast, accurate and precise analysis of liquids, LPG’s, gasses and solids. This brand new model is designed to offer standardized and customized solutions to match both current and future analytical needs, ranging from low PPB’s to high PPM’s. It is ASTM compliant in methods : D5453, D6667, D7183, D7184, D4629, D5762, and D6069.