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X-ray Solutions for the Petrochemical Industry

Bruker offers best-in-class turnkey solutions for the whole production chain of the petrochemical industry – from discovery, development up to final process & quality control – contributing to an increase in profits and productivity.

The Upstream Sector

The upstream sector involves the exploration for and extraction of petroleum crude oil and natural gas, also known as the exploration and production (E&P) sector.

Exploration - Elemental & Crystalline Phase Analysis

Elemental Analysis is an important tool for the field and petroleum geologist to characterize and identify petroleum or gas bearing formations. Drill cuttings, mud, or cores can be analyzed by X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). The benchtop S2 RANGER reaches low detection limits on prepared drill cuttings in a mobile lab by using the Energy Dispersive XRF (EDXRF). The analysis of majors and traces in the lab is best performed by the floor standing S8 TIGER Wavelength Dispersive XRF (WDXRF) spectrometer using either the GEO-QUANT package or custom calibrations.

Additional information on the mineralogical composition of the sediment or formation offers X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). XRD distinguishes minerals having the same or similar chemistry by their crystal structure. It not only allows the identification of minerals with DIFFRAC.EVA, but also offers standardless quantification using the Rietveld approach. Even non-crystalline phases may be quantified using this method. It enables pinpointing of potential reservoirs and host formations. A major advantage is the rather simple and quick sample preparation. The analysis of drill cuts can be done in a mobile lab using BRUKER’s benchtop D2 PHASER. In a lab setting the D8 ENDEAVOR or the D8 ADVANCE is the optimal choice.

The Downstream Sector

The downstream sector involves the refining of petroleum crude oil to finished products.

Refinery Applications - Elemental Analysis

Elemental analysis is a crucial process control tool for the refining process. Bruker’s PETRO-QUANT package is a universal calibration to quantify 30 elements by XRF in all kinds of hydrocarbons: Whether XRF is employed as a technique to quantify Sulfur from the crude oil to the liquid streams and in the refined products or to quantify Ni, Fe and V in crude oils. Since XRF can analyze the sample directly without digestion or dilution it is widely employed as process tool: Sulfur levels in fuels are regulated, compliance analysis can be performed with XRF by applying ASTM D2622 and ISO 20884 or other national norms. Residual fuel oils as well as solid petcoke can also be analyzed directly.

For the lowest detection limits as well as for testing P, Pb , S, Ni, V and many more elements in a laboratory setting the S8 TIGER WDXRF spectrometers is the preferred choice. The S2 RANGER is offered for Smaller refineries and for regions where regulatory compliance for Sulfur can be done with EDXRF (e.g. ISO and DIN methods).

Oil & Lubricants – Elemental Analysis

Oils and lubricants have to fulfill different tasks in engineering. Beside lubrication they are needed to cool pistons in car engines and while metal milling, to protect against corrosion and to bind particles: Precise and reliable analysis of additives at the minor and trace level is the key for high product quality. XRF is the most important analytical method for the analysis of additives and impurities, no matter if oils, greases or waxes need to be qualified (ASTM D6443, DIN 51361) and to detect engine debris in the form of wear metals (DIN 51399).

Plastics & Polymers

The final properties of a polymer like PE, PP, PET or ABS can be significantly changed by adding defined amount of additives. The Bruker POLYMER-QUANT A package allows for the quantification of the 10 most used additives and catalyst residues in all CH based polymer types.

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