Petroleum Hydrocarbon Standards for SIMDIS Analyses

By: Vicki Yearick, AnalytiX Volume 4 Article 3

Simulated distillation (SIMDIS) by gas chromatography is often used in the petrochemical industry to analyze the composition of an oil or gas sample by measuring the boiling point range distribution of the sample components.

By Vicki Yearick .........

Understanding the boiling point range distribution of petrochemical products is critical for selection of the proper method to process feed stocks, for process control, for contaminant identification and for development of new test methods. The technique often employed in the petrochemical industry for the quick determination of the boiling point range is simulated distillation (SIMDIS) by gas chromatography (GC).

SIMDIS methods are analytical methods, developed through consensus and prescribed by the American Society of Testing and Materials International (formerly ASTM) to provide standardization in the marketplace. Each method cites specific GC column phase(s) and dimensions, test condition(s) and guidelines for the composition of the hydrocarbon standards to be used. For example, Figure 1 shows the separation of ASTM D2887 Reference Gas Oil Sample, Lot 2 test mixture on a Supelco Petrocol 2887 GC column. (At the end of this article is a special offer on Supelco GC columns for petrochemical analysis.)

Figure 1: Rapid Analysis of Reference Gas Oil .........
Column: Petrocol 2887, 5 m x 0.53 mm I.D., 5.0 μm film (Cat. No. 25323)
Col. Temp.: –20 °C to 320 °C at 20 °C/min., hold 5 min.
Carrier: nitrogen, 6 mL/min.
Det.: FID (32 x 10-10 AFS)
Inj: 0.1 μL, direct (350 °C)
Sample: Reference Gas Oil (Cat. No. 48873)

Through its Supelco brand, Sigma-Aldrich offers individual qualitative and quantitative hydrocarbon standards and reference mixes to meet the needs of analysts using SIMDIS-GC. By using Sigma-Aldrich standards, the time and costs associated with preparing your own standards and mixtures are eliminated. Every Supelco SIMDIS standard and reference mixture is prepared in accordance to ASTM recommendations, and in volume/volume or weight/weight formulations. All calibration references are accompanied by documentation.

For additional information, use the enclosed reply card to request Bulletin 864 “Simulated Distillation of Petroleum Products by Packed Column and Capillary Column GC” or Bulletin 858 “Petroleum/Chemicals Application Guide”. These bulletins can also be requested by phone, or downloaded from our website:

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