New European Reference Material for the analysis of sulphur in petrol available
Atmospheric sulfur oxides are the main source of acid rain, which causes significant damage to buildings as well as to the environment. Therefore, such emissions have been regulated in many countries. Sulfur in petrol for road traffic is a significant source of sulfur oxides in air. In addition, sulfur in petrol leads to the degeneration of car catalysts designed to reduce emissions of nitrous oxides. To reduce this load, Directive 2003/17/EC of the European Parliament and the European Council demanded subsequent phasing-in of fuels - both petrol and diesel - containing less than 10 mg kg-1 of sulfur by 1 January 2005 in the European Union (EU). By 2009, such petrol must be available in all EU Member States.
Enforcement of this legislation requires reliable control measurements. Laboratories need to be able to check the performance of their methods for the determination of sulfur in petrol. Therefore, three certified reference materials were produced to support this directive in a joint effort by the members of the European Reference Materials (ERM®) initiative. Two of the materials were made from commercial petrol, while the third one was prepared from a blend of commercial petrols. The certified sulfur content in these materials has comparable or lower expanded uncertainties than in materials previously available, and this set is the first available that is made starting from commercial petrols.
The materials have been processed and certified according to the ISO Guides 34 and 35.