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ASTM D3120-08(2019)

ASTM D3120-08(2019)

Standard Test Method for Trace Quantities of Sulfur in Light Liquid Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Oxidative Microcoulometry

2019-06-25 /Active
Significance and Use:

4.1 This test method is used to determine the concentration of sulfur in light liquid hydrocarbons, gasoline, and diesels and their additives, where such concentrations of sulfur can be detrimental to their production, performance, and use. The measurement of sulfur in the production and final product of gasoline and diesel is required for both regulatory purposes and to ensure maximum life expectancy of catalytic converters used in the automotive industry.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of sulfur concentration in the range from 3.0 mg/kg to 1000 mg/kg in light liquid hydrocarbons and fuels with oxygenates boiling in the range from 26 °C to 274 °C (80 °F to 525 °F).

Note 1: Preliminary data has shown that this test method is also applicable to the determination of sulfur in denatured fuel ethanol (Specification D4806), automotive spark ignition engine fuel (Specification D4814), Ed75–Ed85 (Specification D5798) or gasoline-oxygenate fuel blends with greater than 10 % ethanol. However, the precision for these materials has not been determined. Subcommittee D02.03 is undertaking activities to obtain precision statements for these materials.

1.2 Other materials falling within the distillation range specified in 1.1, but having sulfur concentrations above 1000 mg/kg, may be tested using appropriate dilutions to bring them within the specified limit. In addition, sample types that may be outside the specified distillation range, such as diesels and biodiesels, may be analyzed by this test method.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. The preferred units are milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg).

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.For specific hazard statements, see Sections 7 – 9.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

light hydrocarbons; microcoulometry; sulfur;
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