Quantification of the composition of liquid hydrocarbon streams

Hydrocarbons analysis is important in the oil and gas industry, as stream composition has a strong impact on plant operations.  The composition of hydrocarbon streams vary across a plant, which makes the selection of analytical methods challenging.  Traditional methods for the evaluation of liquid hydrocarbon streams include the Detailed Hydrocarbon Analysis (DHA); however, non-traditional methods, such as comprehensive gas chromatography (GCxGC), are also utilized in the chemical industry, including Dow.

This work details a comparison of analytical techniques available for such analyses, specifically, DHA (Detailed Hydrocarbon Analysis) and GCxGC compared to the recently introduced GC-Vacuum Ultraviolet (GC-VUV) system. Numerous liquid hydrocarbon streams were blended together to generate a composite and extensive matrix in terms of composition. Paraffin, isoparaffin, olefin, naphthene, and aromatic (PIONA) results are presented for the three techniques. All of those methods obtained relative standard deviations lower than 1.3% for five injections a day for three days. Standard addition curves were utilized to accurately quantify specific compounds in a liquid hydrocarbon stream, and these results were compared to the GC-VUV PIONA+ and DHA quantification procedures.


  • Comparison of GC-VUV to Detailed Hydrocarbon Analysis and GCxGC.
  • PIONA Quantification of liquid hydrocarbon streams.
  • PIONA+ deconvolution and quantification compared to DHA quantification.

Download the full article here from the Journal of Chromatography A.