Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
February 2005
State Petroleum Labs Move to Upgraded Gasoline Analysis Equipment

During the second half of calendar year 2004, the Bureau of Petroleum Products & Tanks moved to the next generation of mid-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) gasoline analyzers. The Grabner IROX-2000 equipment was placed in five of the Bureau's twelve statewide testing labs to replace the older Midac fuel analyzers purchased when the labs were constructed in 1997-98. The new units utilize the same basic infrared technology as the older equipment, but have an expanded number of features and are easier to maintain and calibrate.

These units manufactured by the German owned Graber Instrument Company can be used for measuring up to 37 components in gasoline including aromatics, olefins, oxygenates and saturates in addition to the new features of octane, vapor pressure and distillation property predications. The IROX-2000 is a vast improvement over existing gasoline analyzers in that it is a scanning spectrograph that measures over the entire wavelength range, rather than at over a few discrete wavelengths like filter instruments. In addition, the IROX-2000 is the only FTIR gasoline analyzer on the market with a built in density meter, further improving its prediction accuracy.

With the recent increased activity related to gasoline additives and oxygenates, this equipment significantly improves the Bureau's ability to analyze different features and percentages of gasoline additives beyond our past capabilities. The Bureau's Petroleum Inspectors have all been through an initial training with this equipment and district representative recently attended additional training to assist in refining the process and procedures the Bureau is implementing for sample library maintenance and data exchange. In that Wisconsin is one of only a few states that has developed this in-house type of analytic capability, it is believed to be major factor in the state's ability to assure consumers of a safer, higher quality gasoline being distributed in Wisconsin.

- Berni Mattsson

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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