Hand-held sulfur tests

A small portable device can measure sulfur levels in gasoline, thanks to Russian scientists. Chemists at St. Petersburg State University and the EKROS Scientific Production Association also in St. Petersburg have built a hand-held device that can determine mercaptans, the main sulfur components of petroleum in real-time and so enable a much simpler alternative to current labor-intensive and time-consuming manual tests. Since mercaptans are corrosive to metals, their removal from vehicle fuel oils is desirable. The new device will allow more timely analysis of the refining process and so allow the petrochemical engineers to respond more immediately and so remove more sulfur impurities for their product.