Application Note

Direct Analysis of Ethanol for Phosphorus, Sulfur, Copper, and Iron with the Avio 550 Max ICP-OES


Ethanol is an important blending component in fuels commonly used in gasoline/petrol. Because of its wide use, it is important to monitor the concentrations of impurities in the ethanol which can negatively impact the performance of the resulting fuel. As a result, standards have been created for the phosphorus (P), sulfur (S), and copper (Cu) content in fuel.

Ethanol analysis by ICP-OES can be challenging both due to volatility and high carbon content. However, with the right choice of sample introduction components and a robust plasma, ethanol can be measured with ease. This work demonstrates the ability of the Avio® 550 Max fully simultaneous ICP-OES to measure phosphorus, sulfur, copper, and iron in ethanol, leveraging the capabilities of Multicomponent Spectral Fitting (MSF) to eliminate the effect of interferences.