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Trace Metals Analysis in Petroleum Products by Atomic Absorption

Volume 28, Number 4 (Aug. 1974) Page 342-344

Vigler, M.S.; Gaylor, V.F.


To provide information for customers who have regional environmental obligations, it was necessary to develop an analytical procedure to analyze for 25 metals in the range from 1 ppb to greater than 5 ppm in petroleum products. Atomic absorption is employed to determine 23 of the elements, namely: Al, Sb, Ba, Be, Bi, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Pb, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Na, Si, Sn, Ti, V, and Zn. The general procedure is to ash the appropriate amount of sample by absorbing liquid samples on magnesium sulfonate ash aid (Conostan, Conoash M) or potassium sulfonate. Add 5 drops of H2SO4, heat to white fumes, fire, and ash at 650°C. The sulfonated ash is dissolved in dilute acid to provide the aspiration solution. Recovery studies on aluminum, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, and lead in the microgram per gram range are presented.