Application Note

Determination of Methanol and Ethanol in Denatured Fuel Ethanol Using GC/FID

Clarus GC systems to determine ethanol & methanol in fuel


Ethanol is often utilized in commercial denatured fuel products to improve performance, and does not exhibit many of the environmentally dangerous characteristics of tetraethyl lead (TEL) and methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE). The primary ingredient of denatured fuel is ethanol, with a small amount of methanol also utilized in the product. Producers of denatured fuel often face a unique analytical challenge when performing compositional quality checks on their products, as they must quantify both ethanol at nearly 100% of the weight of the product, as well as methanol at approximately 0.1 to 0.6 wt%.

To mitigate this challenge, PerkinElmer’s Clarus® GC systems’ wide-range flame ionization detector (FID) measures hydrocarbon compounds at very low and very high levels. In this study, a method for the determination of both ethanol and methanol in denatured fuel is presented.