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Gas Chromatography & Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) Based Analyzers

At Separations Systems, Inc. we offer Gas Chromatography (GC) and Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) based analyzers for many popular applications in the hydrocarbon processing industry. All of our analyzers are comprehensive in nature and typically include the Agilent gas chromatography (GC) or gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS system), our own patented or trademarked hardware and software technologies, chromatography columns, consumables, reference and calibration standards, installation, training, and responsive ongoing support.

Each of our systems is configured and tested in our lab then installed and validated in yours to meet or exceed your specific requirements or those cited in commonly used test methods from international organizations such as ASTM, EN, ISO, UOP, GPA, and others.

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Simulated Distillation

Simulated distillation (SimDis or SimDist) is a widely accepted means to quickly and accurately determine the true boiling point distribution of crude oil and petroleum refining fractions by gas chromatography. It has been adopted as a safer and quicker alternative to physical distillations.

Separation Systems’ simulated distillation analyzers deliver fast, accurate results and are compliant with all of the current and proposed methods from ASTM, EN, ISO, and other international standards organizations. Our SimDis® analyzers utilize the Agilent 7890B GC, automatic liquid sampler, our patented SimDis® Inlet system (for methods specifying the use of programmable temperature vaporizing inlet or PTV), analysis column, flame ionization detector (FID), and/or selective detectors along with our popular SimDis® Expert software. And, unlike GC manufacturers who only guarantee their hardware and software from defects, we guarantee our GC analyzers produce the measurements you require.

Detailed Hydrocarbon Analysis

Detailed hydrocarbon analysis (DHA) utilizes ultra-high-resolution capillary gas chromatography to identify individual hydrocarbon components in spark-ignition fuels and other light hydrocarbon streams. (ex. virgin naphtha, alkylates, FCC gasoline, reformate or gases and liquids from the production of propane and butane) as well as mixtures containing oxygenated additives such as ETBE, MTBE, ethanol, methanol, and 1-butanol with boiling ranges up to 225o C.

This technique is sometimes referred to as PIONA or PIANO because it can assign the individually identified component into its respective hydrocarbon class (paraffins, isoparaffins, olefins, naphthenes, aromatics, and oxygenates) and produce a ‘group type’ report.

Our DHA analyzers incorporate the Agilent 7890B GC, automatic liquid sampler, optional pre-fractionator, ultra-high-resolution column, flame ionization detector (and/or 5973 B/C MSD), data acquisition software, and our powerful Hydrocarbon Expert™ software.

Refinery Gas Analysis

Refinery gas analysis is commonly used to characterize the gases produced during crude oil refining including stack emissions and reformate streams.

Our refinery gas analyzer is completely automated and consists of the Agilent 7890B equipped with specially configured valves, columns, flame ionization, and thermal conductivity detectors. Through careful selection of the analytical columns, the order of the eluting components is tightly controlled. Although multiple detectors are used for the analysis, the software combines all of the relevant chromatographic data into a single, easy-to-understand analysis report.

30+ components are completely resolved and include the permanent gases, light hydrocarbons through benzene, C4 olefins as well as C6+ as a composite peak or full speciation through C10 if ‘extended’ analysis is required. Hydrogen can be measured from ~100 ppm to 99.9%. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) can also be analyzed if required.

Natural Gas Analysis

Separation Systems natural gas analyzer (NGA) is designed and optimized for the analysis of natural gas, liquefied natural gas, natural gas liquids, or comparable sample types and is fully compliant with all industry-standard test methodologies. The system is configured to analyze O2, N2, CH4, CO2, H2S, and hydrocarbons up to C20 (in extended mode) and can analyze gas or liquid samples from ambient pressure up to 1100 psi.

The system utilizes the Agilent 7890B GC and includes automated valves, micro packed and capillary columns, TCD, FID, data acquisition system along with our Natural Gas Expert™ software to perform all of the required calculations and generate a report. The report includes a single chromatogram (produced by combining the TCD and FID signals) with all peaks labeled along with the following information:

  • Specific gravity
  • Gas composition in mol %, vol%, weight %
  • Water saturated or dry BTU values
  • Gallons of liquid / million cubic feet (GPM)
  • Compressibility factor
  • WOBBE Index
  • BTU dry or wet and BTU gross or net
  • BTU/cu ft., BTU/lb. and BTU/gal-liquid
  • BTU based on individual water analysis
  • % carbon distribution from C6 to C15

All of the following standard test methods can be used with the system: GPA 2261, 2165, 2186, 2286; ASTM D-1946, D 2163, D-2597.

Sulfur Analysis

The presence of sulfur is a formidable challenge for refineries, natural gas processors, and petrochemical producers.  Sulfur-containing components can corrode equipment and destroy (poison) expensive catalysts used in downstream processes.

So, it’s important to be able to determine if sulfur components are present and if so, quantifying the amount so steps can be taken to remove and/or control the amount in petroleum feedstock and products to an acceptable and safe level.

  • Sulfur can be measured using a gas chromatograph coupled with an element-specific detector such as a pulsed flame (PFPD),  flame photometric (PFPD), and sulfur chemiluminescence (SCD) to sub-ppm levels.

We utilize the Agilent Technologies 7890B GC and sulfur chemiluminescence detector (SCD) along with our Sulfur Expert™ software to deliver best in class solutions for sulfur analysis including:

  • Sulfur simulated distillation
  • Thiophene in benzene (ASTM D7011)
  • Sulfur speciation of gasoline
  • Sulfur components in 95% ethanol
  • And others
Gloved hands hold an amber vial and press the GC chromatography control button

Other Gas Chromatography Analyzers

At Separation Systems, we have developed a wide range of analyzers that extend well beyond the ones mentioned above. Other GC analyzers we have created for the hydrocarbon processing industry include:

  • Impurities in olefin streams (ex. D2505, D2593, D2712, D4773, D5507, D6159)
  • Oxygenates in gasoline (ex. D4815, D5599, D7754)
  • Aromatics in gasoline (ex. D3606, D5580, D5769, D7576)
  • LPG (ex. D2163, D7756)
  • ‘Geo-chemical’ (ex. heavy hydrocarbons, biomarkers, analysis of brines)
  • Petroleum waxes (ex. D5442, D5623, D6228)
  • Biodiesel (ex. D6584, D7398, D7798)

If interested in any other specific application not listed, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have probably built it before.

Why Choose Separation Systems?

Gloved hands hold an amber vial and press the GC chromatography control button

For over 40 years, Separation Systems has been directly involved in the development, testing, and evolution of simulated distillation tests. Our team of highly experienced staff has worked to develop a wide array of agilent gas chromatography and mass spectrometer-based analyzers and software to provide solutions for the hydrocarbon processing industry.

We are committed to providing excellent customer service that includes long-term customer support throughout the life of our analyzers. Additionally, as part of our services, we also offer application training, method fine tuning/optimization, system/method validation/revalidation, remote data processing, custom software and consulting.

Contact Our Specialists

Our services range from application training to system revalidation. If you need any assistance regarding our analyzers, feel free to contact us anytime. Give us a call today at +1-800-340-3302 for US or +1 850-932-1433 x11 Internationally.