February 2005

Special Report: Clean Fuels

How industry can meet testing requirements for ULSD

A quick comparison of analytical techniques available to meet regulatory mandates

Wilt, B. K., Marathon Ashland Petroleum, LLC

As June 2006 approaches, the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) is faced with producing EPA-mandated ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD). The maximum sulfur content is 15 parts per million by weight (wt. ppm). Two major hurdles the HPI faces in program implementation are: Quickly and accurately measuring sulfur content Avoiding contamination by identifying product interfaces as ULSD is moved throughout the distribution system. Standard testing methods. Several approved ASTM laboratory techniques are available to determine total sulfur (TS) in the measurement range needed for ULSD. Most use an oxidative pyrolysis furnace operating at greater than 1,000°C

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