Petroleum Chemistry

NMR for Fuel Analysis

NMR has been used in  petroleum research since its inception as a commercial product, and the fuel additives field has since become a heavily studied area. 

When used in fuel and additives research, NMR can be used to analyze raw materials, such as crude oil, coal, tar, pitch, and refined petrochemicals. When analyzing crude oil, one feature in particular can offer valuable information on where the oil is from and what properties it will possess when used as a fuel: its aromaticity. Measuring the aromaticity of crude oil looks specifically at the ratio of aliphatic to olefinic or aromatic bonds or carbons in the oil.

High-resolution NMR can also be used to study what happens to fuels, lubricants, and additives after they have been used.

NMR for Additives Analysis

Petroleum researchers themselves also undertake a lot of chemical research into the additives that are introduced into fuel. It is sometimes necessary for these materials to be studied at very high temperatures in order to reduce the material’s viscosity and make it easier to analyze.

Bruker offers dedicated NMR tools specifically tailored for the demands of this application, such as high temperature probes that have been specially designed to operate at up to 400°C for high temperature additives analysis. Large volume probes, which are part of Bruker’s range of cryogenically cooled probes, offers a 10 mm sample diameter over the usual 5 mm diameter, and has found exclusive application in both petrochemical and polymer research.

The Benefits of High-Resolution NMR

A technique for the analysis of fuels and additives that has been around for over 60 years, NMR can help enhance the quality of fuel and additive products and respond to calls for change in what types of fuels are used by helping researchers to better understand materials at the molecular level. Ranging from quality control, quantification and purity analysis, to characterization and identification, high resolution NMR is a non-destructive, highly detailed analysis technique that is an asset to large-scale applications in fuel and additive research.

Relevant Products

Ascend 400

NMR Instruments

NMR is an information rich, non-destructive analytical technique. It provides detailed information about molecular structure, dynamic processes and allows the direct observation of chemical reactions.

EPR Instruments

Bruker's high-performance portfolio of EPR instruments offers a non-destructive analytical technique for the direct detection of paramagnetic species. Free radicals and transition metal ions can be identified and quantified in solids, liquids, gases, cells, and in vivo. Structural insights from the chemical structure to intermolecular interactions are obtained from both CW and Pulse EPR techniques.


The AvanceCore solution offers premium high-resolution NMR at a more affordable price, making NMR more accessible than ever before.
Avance Neo Console


The AVANCE NEO consoles for NMR feature even faster control, improved dynamic range and greater flexibility and scalability than ever before.
Fourier 80

Fourier 80

Building on decades of experience creating top-quality NMR instruments, Bruker has reimagined high-performance NMR spectroscopy in a compact, cost-efficient form

minispec mq series

The minispec mq series offers the most comprehensive range of measurement frequencies known today, ranging from 7.5 MHz for samples with large diameters, via 10 MHz, 20 MHz and 40 MHz, to the unparalleled mq60 with 60 MHz operating frequency.
magnettech ESR5000

Magnettech ESR5000

The Magnettech ESR5000 is an innovative research instrument with high quality performance. It offers dedicated and tailored turn-key solutions for specific quality control, medical, and pharmaceutical R&D applications.


The microESR is a small, portable research grade instrument and is also an ideal teaching tool for undergraduate chemistry labs. The spectrometer has a mass of only 10 kg and can easily fit in a fume hood or glove box, or be transported into the field. Plus, it requires no special installation or regular maintenance.

BBFO CryoProbe

Highest NMR sensitivity for the periodic table of NMR - The BBO CryoProbe offers the highest commercially available sensitivity for the broadest range of nuclei, designed for both observe and inverse detection.

Double Resonance Probes

The Bruker Dual Probes offer an ideal combination of outstanding sensitivity, lineshape, and pulse widths.