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Crude Oil Trace Elemental Analysis Using ICP-MS and Low Level Elemental Analysis using the "New" MP-AES

October 18, 2017

First Session: USA 9:00am EDT, 6:00am PDT, 14:00 BST, 15:00 CEST

Repeat Session: USA 1:00pm EDT, 10:00am PDT, 18:00 BST, 19:00 CEST

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Elemental analysis of crude oil provides important information in support of upstream activities such as exploration and production. During crude oil refining process, product yields can be reduced due to the presence of elements such as iron, arsenic, nickel, and lead that can affect the efficiency of catalysts or render them inactive. Vanadium compounds can cause damage to furnace linings and corrosion of boiler tubes or gas turbine blades.

Given the importance of the data provided by elemental analysis, the ability of laboratories to routinely measure an increasingly wide range of metals and non-metals in crude oil and it's products is critical. Following the most abundant elements; vanadium, nickel, and iron, typical elements present at trace levels include As, Ba, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Mo, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, Te, V etc. ICP-MS is used for the routine trace analysis of multiple elements in complex and variable petrochemical samples. There is now a ASTM standard test method for Elemental Analysis of Distillate Products by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) (Designation: D8110 – 17). This is anticipated to be followed by a ASTM standard method on crude oil elemental anaylsis.

Another elemental anaylsis technique, Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (MP-AES) is becoming increasingly popular within the petroleum industry as an alternative to FAAS for multi-elemental analysis of organic samples. For laboratories handling organic solvents, the presence of the flame of an FAAS is a concern, requiring constant supervision. MP-AES can be operated unsupervised and can be configured for overnight operation. ASTM now has a work item (WK56841) Standard Test Method for Multielement Analysis of Crude Oils Using Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (MP-AES) proceeding through the standard test method process.

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Key Learning Objectives:


• ICP-MS capability in petroleum applications (detection levels, tips and tricks, etc.)

• ASTM standard test method for Elemental Analysis of Distillate Products by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) Designation: D8110 – 17)

• Soon to be proposed ASTM standard test method on Elemental Analysis of Crude Oil by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

• MP-AES capability in petroleum applications (detection levels, advantages of a non argon instrument for this industry, etc.)

• ASTM Work Item #56841 on crude oil and fuel oil

Who Should Attend:


• Researchers/ R&D Mangagers

• Laboratory Managers/ Directors / Supervisors

• Laboratory Technicians / Operators



Dr. Jenny Nelson, Ph. D.,
Market Development Spectroscopy Scientist,
Agilent Technologies
Dr. Francisco Lopez-Linares, Ph.D.,
Technical Team Lead, Chemical Characterization, and Atomic Spectroscopy,
Chevron, ETC, USA.


Celia Arnaud
Senior Editor

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