IP 243: Petroleum products and hydrocarbons- Determination of sulfur content- Wickbold combustion method

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  • Method adopted/last revised: 1994
  • Method reapproved: 2013
  • REF/ISBN: IP243-2935231
  • Status: Current
  • First printed in STM books: February 1994


This international Standard specifies a method for the determination of total sulfur in petroleum products, natural gas and olefins. The method may be applied to products having sulfur contents in the range 1 to 10 000 mg/kg and is particularly suitable for distillates with total sulfur contents of less than 300 mg/kg. Test samples which are viscous, highly aromatic, or of high sulfur content may be first diluted with a sulfur-free solvent.

The method can be used for the determination of the total sulfur content of natural and refinery gases, also for substances supplied to the burner in the liquid state and for the determination of volatile sulfur in substances supplied to the burner in the gaseous state after vaporization from the liquid phase. It is not suitable for the determination of sulfur in heavy-duty engine oils. For the determination of sulfur in light olefins, see clause 13, special case.


1 If required, total chlorine content of petroleum products can be determined by the usual volumetric, gravimetric or potentiometric methods for determination of the chloride ions present in the absorption solution after combustion by this method. The inorganic bound chlorine has to be removed by water extraction prior to the burning procedure, otherwise interference will occur.

2 When viscous or solid materials, such as bitumen or heavy fuel oils, are burnt in a combustion boat, some of the sulfur may be bound to the ash retained in the boat. If this is the case, the sulfur bound in the ash has to be determined in the residue.

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