Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Fuel Sulfur Monitor (ST7650-1)

X-Ray Optical Systems, Inc.


Sulfur in fuels is emitted as SO2 or SO3, which typically forms sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, some forming ammonium sulfate or ammonium bisulfate. These sulfur compounds are major contributors to acid rain and formation of particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) in the atmosphere, which is associated with adverse health effects. Although there are other human-based sources of sulfur, transportation fuels have been a major contributor. In NYC, for example, about one quarter of the local sulfur in air comes from transportation from the combustion of distillate, residual, and gasoline fuels. Sulfur in fuels poisons catalytic converters; so reduction in sulfur levels in fuels also allows for reductions of other pollutants from transportation sources. To address some of these sources, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated a reduction of sulfur in on-road diesel fuel from the current level of 500 ppm to 15 ppm by 2006. Although the petroleum industry has demonstrated the ability to remove sulfur from fuel, controlling Ultralow Sulfur (ULS) Fuel production and distribution are problematic, as currently there are no practical methods for on-line measurement of low sulfur levels in fuels.

Map Error

Project Description

Phase II activities include: initiating development of next generation doubly-curved crystal (DCC) x-ray optic for MWD-XRF; obtaining product certifications such as Underwriter Laboratory; finalizing work on development of laboratory based ASTM standard, based on MWD-XRF; imitating development of an ASTM standard for on-line measurement, using MWD-XRF; developing and testing product enhancements based on user needs discovered during Phase I field testing; and conducting further field demonstrations in refinery, pipeline and terminal applications.


Benefits are the reduced cost of production and distribution of ultra-low sulfur diesel through improved monitoring, reductions in SO2 emissions in NYS and in upwind states resulting in improved health and environment, and creation of jobs in NY manufacturing of the resulting monitoring systems.

Project Results

The Contractor has successfully marketed bench-top and on-line systems to fuel distributers, pipeline companies, refineries, and regulators.


X-Ray Optical Systems, Inc.
15 Tech Valley Drive
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Principle Investigator

Jay Burdett

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Industrial Products

NYSERDA Contact Information

Barry Liebowitz


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST7650-1

Last Updated: 6/28/2013