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Flow injection gas chromatography with sulfur chemiluminescence detection for the analysis of total sulfur in complex hydrocarbon matrixes

Hua, Yujuan, Hawryluk, Myron, Gras, Ronda, Shearer, Randall, Luong, Jim
Journal of separation science 2018 v.41 no.2 pp. 469-474
calibration, chemiluminescence, detection limit, gas chromatography, gases, hydrocarbons, sulfur
A fast and reliable analytical technique for the determination of total sulfur levels in complex hydrocarbon matrices is introduced. The method employed flow injection technique using a gas chromatograph as a sample introduction device and a gas phase dual‐plasma sulfur chemiluminescence detector for sulfur quantification. Using the technique described, total sulfur measurement in challenging hydrocarbon matrices can be achieved in less than 10 s with sample‐to‐sample time <2 min. The high degree of selectivity and sensitivity toward sulfur compounds of the detector offers the ability to measure low sulfur levels with a detection limit in the range of 20 ppb w/w S. The equimolar response characteristic of the detector allows the quantitation of unknown sulfur compounds and simplifies the calibration process. Response is linear over a concentration range of five orders of magnitude, with a high degree of repeatability. The detector's lack of response to hydrocarbons enables direct analysis without the need for time‐consuming sample preparation and chromatographic separation processes. This flow injection‐based sulfur chemiluminescence detection technique is ideal for fast analysis or trace sulfur analysis.