Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy for Analysis of Diolefins and Non-Traditional Gasoline Additives



Date: 16:00:00 - Oct 11 2018
Speakers: Jack Cochran
Moderators: Tom Lynch

ASTM D8071 uses gas chromatography – vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy (GC-VUV) to determine paraffins, isoparaffins, olefins, naphthenes, and aromatics (PIONA), as well as select hydrocarbons and methanol and ethanol, in gasoline.  Run times are less than 35 min followed by automated data processing.  Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, isooctane, naphthalene, and methylnaphthalenes are accurately quantified as individual categories due to their unique VUV absorbance spectra, even if they coelute with other compounds in the short analysis time. 

While ASTM D8071 is defined as a “bulk composition” method for automotive spark-ignition fuels, additional specific compounds and compound classes are easily quantified using the same GC conditions if their VUV absorbance spectra allow them to be distinguished from potential interferences.  One example is diolefin determination, including conjugated diolefins that cause fuel stability problems.  Another application is monitoring for non-traditional gasoline additives (NTGAs).  NTGAs researched as octane boosters, e.g., methyl and ethyl acetates, and more exotic bio-derived oxygenates like ethyl levulinate and gamma-valerolactone, and even potentially harmful NTGAs like acetone and N-Methylaniline, are easily analyzed using the GC-VUV conditions employed for ASTM D8071.  Legacy methods like ASTM D6730, Detailed Hydrocarbon Analysis (FID), are not easy to adapt for diolefins and NTGAs, since they rely on GC with a non-specific flame ionization detector (FID).

This presentation will review the current scope of ASTM D8071, Determination of Hydrocarbon Group Types and Select Hydrocarbon and Oxygenate Compounds in Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel Using Gas Chromatography with Vacuum Ultraviolet Absorption Spectroscopy Detection (GC-VUV), and show how the same method conditions can be used to quantify additional compounds of interest.

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Jack Cochran
Jack Cochran (VUV)

Jack has spent 30 years in laboratories performing GC method development related to environmental, food safety, metabolomics, forensics, petroleum, and cannabis applications. He is a noted expert in sample preparation, GC-MS, and GC×GC, and is frequently an invited speaker at scientific conferences. Jack oversees the Applications Team at VUV Analytics as well as develop new applications for the award-winning VGA-100, VGA-101, and SVGA-100 gas chromatography and streaming gas detectors. Jack previously served as Director of New Business and Technology at Restek where he led the GC Applications Team and contributed significantly to new product development.


Tom Lynch
Tom Lynch (labmate)

Tom has 35 years’ of experience in the petroleum industry, specialising in the delivery of forensic and problem solving /method development capabilities for BP Fuels and Lubricants businesses globally. He was also a member of the BP Science Council representing Analytical Science and led a BP wide Analytical Science network. Tom has published over 30 citable papers, 4 book chapters and has given over 60 presentations at conferences. He is a past Vice President of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Analytical Division and a past Chairman of the RSC Separation Science Group. In addition, Tom is a recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal by the Chromatographic Society and a technical achievement award by the Energy Institute.

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