Application Note

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


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.