A careful analysis of pressurized petroleum streams boiling up to 200- to 210 degrees C (C12) PINA Paraffins, Iso-Paraffins, Naphthenes, and Aromatics) content is essential for monitoring refinery operations, product specifications, and process development. The principal techniques employed routinely in the petroleum industry for PINA analysis are quantitative mass spectrometry (MS) and PIONA analysis gas chromatography (GC). Although MS determines total PINA content with reasonable accuracy, the determination of carbon number distributions by the MS method is generally not very accurate. In addition, the determination of an individual component by MS is not always possible.
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