The chemical and petrochemical market offers a diverse array of applications. While many processes involve organics that are not readily measured by XRF, there are many instances where salts or metals are important.
Here are a few common chemical applications:
·Curing Agents- Elements like sulfur and phosphorus are present in curing agents. These are usually present at high enough levels for XRF analysis.
·Metal Catalysts- Catalysts are used in a substantial number of chemical processes since they reduce both time and energy requirements. Many catalysts are valuable metals like platinum or palladium, so it is important to use the minimum quantities necessary. XRF is an ideal method for monitoring metal catalysts with laboratory, bench top, or on-line instrumentation.
Petroleum is one of the largest markets for XRF analyzers.A number of applications exist at virtually each stage in the petrochemical industry:
Sulfur in Oil and Fuels - The current Ultra Low-Sulfur (ULS) permitted level according to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is 15 ppm (parts per million) of Sulfur in vehicle fuels, and this level is expected to be further reduced.Xenemetrix’s X-ray Fluorescence analyzers can quantitatively analyze sulfur at these low levels and thus provide a cost-effective maintenance management tool that is specifically designed to reduce operation cost and total cost of ownership.
Lead and Manganese in Gasoline - Lead is an anti-knock additive that is added to gasoline. It is used at concentrations of several hundred PPM in leaded gasoline and approximately 13 mg/L in unleaded gasoline.
Manganese in Gasoline - Manganese is another anti-knock additive that is used primarily in Canada at very low PPM concentrations. This application can be obtained with ED-XRF instruments.
Chlorine in Crude Oil - Crude oil is desalinated to remove salts that are present by nature. Chlorine in crude oil needs to be below 50 PPM before the oil can be refined. ED-XRF analyzers form excellent tools for monitoring the chlorine content of crude oil.
Nickel and Vanadium in Crude Oil - These elements can poison catalysts used in the refining process. Less than 5 PPM concentrations are preferred. ED-XRF analyzer can easily perform this application.
Sulfur, Nickel, and Vanadium in Residual Oil - These elements are monitored for either emissions or recovery purposes.
Sulfur in Coke or Carbon - Numerous uses exist for Coke and Carbon, and the material becomes more valuable the lower the sulfur content, with electrode grade carbon being very valuable. Measuring sulfur in coke and carbon can be done with ED-XRF instruments.
Mg, P, S, Ca, Ba, Zn, Mo in Lubricating Oils - Lube oils contains a number of additives, some of them are stabilizers, and others improve lubrication. Motor oils are the largest single class of lubricating oils in terms of volume. Several ASTM methods cater for these additives using ED-XRF quantitative analysis.
S, Cl, As, Pb, Cd in Waste Oil and Waste Fuel Oil - Waste oils such as used lubrication oil are used in a number of oil fired power plants and kilns. These are monitored for toxic metals chlorine and sulfur, according to the environmental protection agency guidelines. ED-XRF instrumentation is an excellent choice for performing these elemental measurements in waste and fuel oils.