Sulfur Analysis and Elemental Characterization

Since its inception in 1951, Rigaku has been at the forefront of analytical and industrial instrumentation technology.

With Rigaku's vast understanding of X-rays and its complementary technologies as a foundation, our true strength is seen in an unparalleled willingness to collaborate with customers. By promoting partnerships, dialog, and innovation within the global scientific and industrial communities, Rigaku demonstrates a relentless commitment to providing our client markets with fully integrated solutions.

In addition to designing and manufacturing analytical X-ray systems for elemental analysis, materials research and structural investigations, Rigaku is also a leading provider of automation robotics, vacuum feedthrough components, and X-ray optics. Core analytical technologies include X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF, EDXRF), single crystal X-ray diffraction (protein and small molecule), and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).

The Rigaku "Energy Suite"

Introducing the Rigaku “Energy Suite” of total petro refinery solutions, designed to meet your every sulfur analysis and elemental characterization need.

Hallmarks of Rigaku products are well-engineered instruments with high reliability and long-term stability. The easy-to-use and easy-to-learn, intuitive software interface controls elegantly designed, sophisticated underlying programs that seamlessly model complicated physical phenomena and deliver net intensity data that allows you to determine the most accurate and precise sulfur values for your materials.

This level of accuracy and precision allows for more stringent product control, which in turn translates into tighter cost control and increased profitability.

Rigaku Building Strong Partnerships with Pertoleum Industry

Rigaku is building solid partnerships with petroleum industry leaders to address the global challenges they face. At a time when demand for cleaner-burning fuels is peaking and quality of crude oil feedstock is tapering off, petroleum refiners are challenged daily to find cost-effective methods to implement greater efficiencies in dealing with these two conflicting demands. The Rigaku Petro-Pak Application’s Suite is designed to help you meet these demands with reliable, accurate data that is validated and continually monitored, helping run refineries at optimum performance.

The Petro-Pak™ Application Package from Rigaku

Designed to run on all Rigaku WDXRF instruments, Petro-Pak includes installation CD with optimized analytical settings and parameters, calibration data for specific ASTM and ISO methods, drift monitor standards and procedure to keep the method in specification, and Validation Certified Reference Materials to independently validate the calibration accuracy. The kit includes a starter set of cups and film, and a comprehensive manual that covers installation qualification, operation qualification and performance qualification modules. This information can fulfill the role of standard operating procedures in your laboratory.

ASTM and ISO compliant methods are the backbone of our Petro-Pak application package, which is designed to cover the whole range of products manufactured in today’s modern refinery and lube oil manufacturing facility. If you have to guarantee your product, use our instruments for peace of mind because they are reliable and accurate, easy to validate and require minimal maintenance to keep them in operating specifications.

In addition, Rigaku offers several unique software features that expand the scope of the analysis into the world of accurate semiquant analysis using our unique Scatter FP procedure. With highly accurate modeling of real world phenomena, this method attains levels of accuracy not previously available for these materials.

The ZSX Petro WDXRF Spectrometer

The ZSX Petro WDXRF spectrometer is powered specifically to handle volatile liquid samples with the highest sensitivity, while maintaining the integrity of the sample during the analysis time window.

The ZSX Petro is a cost-effective variable-power WDXRF instrument with the full complement of analytical features necessary for all of the routine analyses that today’s petroleum refinery laboratory needs to carry out. Whether you are characterizing the sulfur content of incoming crude oil at weight percent levels or qualifying final product sulfur content for the full product line of gasolines, diesels , naphthas, kerosene and jet fuels at single digit ppm levels or weight percent levels of sulfur, the ZSX Petro will handle the analyses with minimal operator intervention. Just set it up and leave it to do the work.


Figure 1. ZSX Petro WDXRF

Plot of long term repeatability for sulfur in diesel over 20 days showing ASTM D2622-2008 limits (red lines)

Figure 2. Plot of long term repeatability for sulfur in diesel over 20 days showing ASTM D2622-2008 limits (red lines)

Precise, reproducible data are the trademark of the ZSX Petro XRF. The performance exceeds the guidelines set out by the ASTM procedures by a sizeable margin, enabling very tight process control from 1 ppm to 5 wt% sulfur.

The Supermini Benchtop WDXRF

Supermini Benchtop WDXRF can serve as the reserve or overflow unit in your refinery laboratory, or it can serve as your primary ASTM 2622 compliant WDXRF spectrometer at remote or satellite sites.

If high-volume throughput is not your primary concern then this benchtop instrument is a very cost-effective method of getting top-class analytical capability and compliance in a reasonable analysis time. The Supermini, with its multi-position sample changer and intuitive software, will make a welcome ally in your daily sulfur analysis routine. It can be set up quickly to perform these important analyses and be left unattended while the analyst takes care of more labor-intensive analytical tasks.

Results can be sent directly to the Laboratory Information Management system for process control feedback or for reporting purposes. The reliable Rigaku Petro-Pak software will ensure that your results are validated and flag any out-of-specification data that is encountered. The system helps make you more productive and enhances the reliability and speed of your analytical feedback to process control. This gain in efficiency translates directly into bottom-line profits.

Supermini WDXRF

Figure 3. Supermini WDXRF

Plot of replicate analysis over 20 days vs mg/kg sulfur with ASTM D2622-2008 limits (red lines)

Figure 4. Plot of replicate analysis over 20 days vs mg/kg sulfur with ASTM D2622-2008 limits (red lines)

Plot of replicate analysis of NIST 2294 - 40.9 mg/kg sulfur over 20 days vs mg/kg sulfur in reformulated gasoline with ASTM D2622-2008 limits (red lines)

Figure 5. Plot of replicate analysis of NIST 2294 - 40.9 mg/kg sulfur over 20 days vs mg/kg sulfur in reformulated gasoline with ASTM D2622-2008 limits (red lines)

The Micro-Z Sulfur from Rigaku

Micro-Z Sulfur is designed for ultra-low sulfur control. Its unparalleled precision, ASTM 2622 – 2008 compliance, ISO 20884 compliance and ease-of-use make it the tool of choice when implementing company-wide ultra low sulfur control strategies. The more precise the analysis result, the closer the cutoff value can be run to the limit while the control system stays in specification. The cost savings realized make the return on investment a rapid process for this precision instrument.

With its dedicated high-precision X-ray optics and patented background correction capability, this instrument is the only benchtop system with ASTM 2622-2008 compliance available on the market today.

Mini-Z Sulfur analyzer

Figure 6. Mini-Z Sulfur analyzer

The Mini-Z Performance Data

The Mini-Z performance data speaks for itself when it comes to range applicability and precision. With a minimum detection limit of 0.26 ppm ( 300 s counting time) and precision of around 12% on 1 ppm sulfur in diesel standards, the Mini-Z shows its ability to help you control ultra-low sulfur fuels with unprecedented precision.

Table 1. Ultra-low sulfur in diesel standards. New preps, 10X, counting time 300 s including background measurement Note - Better precision and lower detection limits can be attained by using longer counting times

Conostan sulfur standards
Standard deviation
15 ppm
10 ppm
5 ppm
1 ppm

Plot of repeatability data for 10 days vs sulfur, mg/kg showing long term repeatability and ASTM D2622-2008 limits (red lines)

Figure 7. Plot of repeatability data for 10 days vs sulfur, mg/kg showing long term repeatability and ASTM D2622-2008 limits (red lines)

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Rigaku.

For more information on this source, please visit Rigaku.


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