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

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  • 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.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International