Determination of Hydrocarbon Group-Type of Diesel Fuels by Gas Chromatography with Vacuum Ultraviolet Detection

Anal Chem. 2016 Jun 7;88(11):5809-17. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b00383. Epub 2016 May 10.


A GC-vacuum ultraviolet (UV) method to perform group-type separations of diesel range fuels was developed. The method relies on an ionic liquid column to separate diesel samples into saturates, mono-, di-, and polyaromatics by gas chromatography, with selective detection via vacuum UV absorption spectroscopy. Vacuum UV detection was necessary to solve a coelution between saturates and monoaromatics. The method was used to measure group-type composition of 10 oilsands-derived Synfuel light diesel samples, 3 Syncrude light gas oils, and 1 quality control sample. The gas chromatography (GC)-vacuum UV results for the Synfuel samples were similar (absolute % error of 0.8) to historical results from the supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) analysis. For the light gas oils, discrepancies were noted between SFC results and GC-vacuum UV results; however, these samples are known to be challenging to quantify by SFC-flame ionization detector (FID) due to incomplete resolution between the saturate/monoaromatic and/or monoaromatic/diaromatic group types when applied to samples heavier than diesel (i.e., having a larger fraction of higher molecular weight species). The quality control sample also performed well when comparing both methods (absolute % error of 0.2) and the results agreed within error for saturates, mono- and polyaromatics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't