Total Nitrogen (TN) is a sum parameter of all inorganic and organic Nitrogen compounds.

Trace levels (ppb and ppm) of Total Nitrogen are measured by oxidative combustion elemental analyzer followed by Chemiluminescence detection technique.

These measurements are mainly carried out in:

  • QC labs of Refineries and Gas & Oil industries: Total Nitrogen present in automotive fuels pollutes the environment and it poisons catalysts and will be corrosive to steel. Nitrogen compounds are more thermally stable compared to sulfur compounds and are often concentrated in heavier petroleum fractions and residues. Examples of Organic Nitrogen compounds that contribute to the Total Nitrogen number in petroleum products are Pyridines, Quinolines and Carbazoles. Hydrotreating of petroleum fractions is an established technique to remove Nitrogen compounds.
  • Plastic Manufacturing Facilities: Nitrogen containing additives present in a polyolefin sample are measured to monitor physical properties and quality control of polymers in general. The oxidative combustion technique followed by Chemiluminescence detection is often used as a “finger print tool” to determine the quality of such products.
  • Fatty oils processing plants: The amount of Total Nitrogen is related to the quality of the intermediates and final products in the food industry. Fats and Oils are also used to produce Biodiesel, therefore the Total Nitrogen content needs to be below maximum allowable amount for these type of biofuels.

ASTM methods carried out by using this technique: ASTM D4629, ASTM D5762, ASTM D6069, ASTM D7184.