Fuel Tests

This test method measures acidity in ethanol or ethanol blends with gasoline quantitatively. Denatured fuel ethanol may contain additives such as corrosion inhibitors and detergents as well as contaminants from manufacturing that can affect the acidity of finished ethanol fuel. Very dilute aqueous solutions of low molecular mass organic acids, such as acetic acid, are highly corrosive to many metals. It is important to keep such acids at a very low level.
Standard Test Method for Measurement of Fuel System Icing Inhibitors (Ether Type) in Aviation Fuels measures the concentration of Diethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether (DiEGME) in aviation fuels. DiEGME is miscible with water and can be readily extracted from the fuel by contact with water during shipping and in storage. It is therefore needed to check the additive content in the fuel to ensure proper additive concentration in the aircraft.
The antiknock index of automotive spark-ignition engine fuels is defined by the conjunction of the Motor octane number with the Research octane number. The antiknock index of a fuel approximates the road octane ratings for many vehicles is posted on retail dispensing pumps in the United States and Canada, and is referred to in vehicle manuals. Antiknock Index = (R + M)/2
Accurate determination of the density, relative density (specific gravity), or API gravity of petroleum products low viscosity transparent liquidsis necessary for the conversion of measured volumes to volumes or masses, or both, at the standard reference temperatures of 15 °C or 60 °F during custody transfer.Density is an important quality indicator for automotive, aviation and marine fuels, where it affects storage, handling and combustion.
This test method is intended as a general guide for the application of the volumetric Karl Fischer (KF) titration for determining free water and water of hydration in most solid or liquid organic and inorganic compounds. This test method is suitable for measurement of water over a wide concentration range, that is, parts per million to pure water.
Bacteria can block fuel filters, cause gauging problems and are corrosive. They can damage fuel tanks and must be eliminated. Keeping fuel tanks clean is the number 1 condition to avoid contamination. A periodic fuel monitoring and testing program will minimize the problems through early detection of microbial growth.
Biocides are essential for controlling microbial contamination and prevent fuel tank corrosion. Biocide treatments remain effective for a certain time, after which their concentration will dilute progressively, causing them to gradually loose their effectiveness. Biocide testing will detect the quantity of biocides in the fuel to assess their effectiveness and their rate of dilution.
Biodiesel is a blendstock commodity primarily used as a value-added blending component with diesel fuel.This test method is applicable for quality control in the production and distribution of diesel fuel and biodiesel blends containing fatty acid methyl esters (FAME).This test method covers the determination of the content of FAME biodiesel in diesel fuel oils. It is applicable to concentrations from 1.00 to 20 volume %. This procedure is applicable only to FAME. Biodiesel in the form of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) will cause a negative bias.
This test method covers the determination of the amount of carbon residue formed after evaporation and pyrolysis of diesel fuel and is intended to provide some indication of its relative coke forming tendency. This test method offers advantages of better control of test conditions, smaller samples, and less operator attention compared to Test Method D189, to which it is equivalent. The test results are equivalent to the Conradson Carbon Residue test.
Fuel Cetane Index is a measure of a diesel fuel's ignition quality. The calculated Cetane Index formula directly estimates the ASTM Cetane number of distillate fuels from the API (America Petroleum Institute) gravity and mid-boiling point. For additional information please view our September, October, November and December 2013 Newsletters.
The cetane number provides a measure of the ignition characteristics of diesel fuel oil in compression ignition engines. This test method is used as a primary specification measurement related to matching of fuels and engines.
The Cloud point indicates the temperature at which crystals of paraffin wax start forming in liquid, which leads to obstruction of filtration systems. Fuel is prepared specifically in order to have a cloud point lower than the ambient temperature of the surrounding environment in which it will be used.
The cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of a fuel estimates the lowest temperature at which diesel and domestic heating fuels will give trouble-free flow in certain fuel systems.
Some substances that are soluble or appear to be soluble in biodiesel (B100) at room temperature will, upon cooling to temperatures above the cloud point or standing at room temperature for extended periods, come out of solution. This phenomenon has been observed in both B100 and BXX blends. These substances can cause filter plugging. This method provides an accelerated means of assessing the presence of these substances in B100 and their propensity to plug filters. It can be used as a means of controlling levels of minor filter plugging components in biodiesel and biodiesel blends.
Color, odor, clarity, precipitate and foam may serve as an indication of the degree of use of the oil or fuel. Precipitate is a solid formed in the oil or fuel by contamination. Foaming can result from excessive agitation, improper fluid levels, air leaks, contamination or cavitation.
The Density of fuel or coolant helps determine the fluid's composition and describes the ratio of mass and volume of a liquid, usually in the units of Kg/L. Fuel density is determined by the choice of crude oils in the blending and refining process where a higher fuel density results in more power and fuel economy. For additional information please view our September, October, November and December 2013 Newsletters.
This specification covers seven grades of diesel fuel oils suitable for various types of diesel engines. These grades are: Grade No. 1-D S15; Grade No. 1-D S500; Grade No. 1-D S5000; Grade No. 2-D S15; Grade No. 2-D S500; Grade No. 2-D S5000; and Grade No. 4-D. The requirements specified for diesel fuel oils shall be determined in accordance with the following test methods: flash point; cloud point; water and sediment; carbon residue; ash; distillation; viscosity; sulfur; copper corrosion; cetane number; cetane index; aromaticity; lubricity; and conductivity.
Distillation is a separation technique for mixtures of petroleum products, each with a different boiling point. This boiling point determination method allows estimating the cetane index of the diesel fuel and its self-ignition properties (ignition quality). ASTM D 86 determines the temperature at which 95 % of the diesel fuel is distillated. Reducing the boiling point slightly lowers the NOx emissions but increases Hydrocarbons and CO emissions.
This test method covers and is intended primarily for the detection of mercaptans in motor fuel, kerosene, and similar petroleum products. It may also provide information on hydrogen sulfide and elemental sulfur in these products. Sulfur present as mercaptans or as hydrogen sulfide in distillate fuels and solvents can attack many metallic and non-metallic materials in fuel and other distribution systems.
The ability of a fuel to dissipate charge that has been generated during pumping and filtering operations is controlled by its electrical conductivity. If the conductivity is sufficiently high, charges dissipate fast enough to prevent their accumulation and dangerously high potentials in a receiving tank are avoided. These test methods cover the determination of the electrical conductivity of aviation and distillate fuels with and without a static dissipator additive. The test methods normally give a measurement of the conductivity when the fuel is uncharged, that is, electrically at rest (known as the rest conductivity).
CHON analysis is used to rapidly detect the concentration of Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen and determine the purity of a sample and if or not it complies with specifications. Used in conjunction with spectroscopy, it can be used to characterize a mixture.
This guide presents some generally accepted laboratory methodologies that are used for determining emulsion forming tendencies, wetting behavior, and corrosion-inhibitory properties of crude oil. Trace amounts of water and sediment have the potential to create corrosive situations during handling or transport if they accumulate and persist on steel surfaces. This potential can be determined by a combination of the type of emulsion formed between oil and water, the wettability of the steel surface, and the corrosivity of water phase in the presence of oil.
This Method determines Ethanol and Methanol Content in Fuels Containing Greater than 20% Ethanol by Gas Chromatography. This test method does identify and quantify methanol but does not purport to identify all individual components (e.g. : water) that make up the denaturant.
The closed cup method determines flash point of fuels and liquids containing suspended solids and liquids that tend to form a surface film during testing. This method is extensively used in the transport industries and safety regulations for detection of contamination by volatile and flammable materials in fuel oils and for characterization of hazardous waste samples.
The freezing point of an aviation fuel is the lowest temperature at which it remains free of solid hydrocarbon crystals that can restrict the flow of fuel through filters if present in the fuel system of the aircraft. The temperature of the fuel in the aircraft tank normally falls during flight depending on aircraft speed, altitude, and flight duration. The freezing point must always be lower than the minimum operational tank temperature. This test determines the temperature below which solid hydrocarbon crystals may form in aviation turbine fuels and aviation gasoline.
Infrared analysis is a most effective quality assurance and regulatory compliance assessment method for fuel. It provides a snapshot of the parameters and composition of a fuel sample. It allows analyzing the properties of diesel and gasoline such as cetane and octane numbers, detecting biodiesel concentration (FAME - Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) in diesel fuel (very important in marine and aviation fuels, where biodiesel is prohibited), benzene content (which is strictly regulated in gasoline) as well as other parameters and contaminants.
This test allows the user to test aviation fuels for the proper amounts of FSII, fuel system icing inhibitor, using ASTM D5006, Standard Test method for Measurement of Fuel System Icing Inhibitors in Aviation Fuels
This test determines the existent gum content of aviation fuels, motor gasolines or other volatile distillates in their finished form. In aviation turbine fuels, large quantities of gum are indicative of contamination by higher boiling oils or particulate matter and generally reflect poor handling practices in distribution downstream of the refinery. In gasoline, high gum can cause induction-system deposits and sticking of intake valves.
The heat of combustion is a measure of the energy available from a fuel. A knowledge of this value is essential when considering the thermal efficiency of equipment for producing either power or heat. • The magnitude of the mass heat of combustionis particularly important to weight-limited vehicles such as airplanes, surface effect vehicles, and hydrofoils as the distance such craft can travel on a given weight of fuel is a direct function of the fuel's mass heat of combustion and its density. • The volumetric heat of combustion, rather than the mass heat of combustion, is important to volume-limited craft such as automobiles and ships, as it is directly related to the distance traveled between refuelings.The volumetric heat of combustion, that is, the heat of combustion per unit volume of fuel, can be calculated by multiplying the mass heat of combustion by the density of the fuel (mass per unit volume).
This test method covers the determination of hydrocarbon types over concentration ranges by volume aromatics, olefins, and saturates in petroleum fractions that distill below 315 °C. This test is important in 1) characterizing the quality of petroleum fractions as gasoline blending components and as feeds to catalytic reforming processes; 2) in characterizing petroleum fractions and products from catalytic reforming and from thermal and catalytic cracking as blending components for motor and aviation fuels and 3) as a measure of the quality of fuels.
Elemental Analysis by ICP detects up to 23 elements that can be present in fuel due to mechanical wear, contamination or additive depletion. Spectrometric analysis is an effective method for monitoring small particles. Severe wear particles larger than 6 microns cannot be detected accurately.
This test method covers the evaluation of the lubricity of diesel fuels using a high-frequency reciprocating rig (HFRR). It is also applicable to biodiesel blends. Diesel fuel injection equipment has some reliance on lubricating properties of the diesel fuel. Shortened life of engine components, such as diesel fuel injection pumps and injectors, has sometimes been ascribed to lack of lubricity in a diesel fuel. The HFRR may be used to evaluate the relative effectiveness of diesel fuels for preventing wear.
The Motor Octane Number correlates with commercial automotive spark-ignition engine antiknock performance under severe conditions of operation. Motor O.N. is used as a primary specification measurement related to the matching of fuels and engines
Naphthalene, when burned, tends to have a relatively larger contribution to a sooty flame, smoke, and thermal radiation than single ring aromatics. The test determines, by ultraviolet spectrophotometry, the total concentration of naphthalene, acenaphthene, and alkylated derivatives of these hydrocarbons in jet fuels.
The determination of the oxidation stability according to EN 14112 is an accelerated oxidation test. Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) are slowly oxidized by atmospheric oxygen. The resulting oxidation products can cause damage to combustion engines.The oxidation stability is therefore an important quality criterion for FAME. According to this test, the fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) in the sample are oxidized to peroxides as the primary oxidation products. After some time, the fatty acids are completely decomposed, forming the secondary oxidation products. In addition to volatile organic compounds, these are lowmolecular organic acids, mainly formic and acetic acids.
Oxygenates are fuel additives that contain oxygen, usually in the form of alcohol or ether. Oxygenates can enhance fuel combustion and thereby reduce exhaust emissions. Some oxygenates also boost gasoline octane. The Clean Air Act requires use of oxygenated gasoline in areas where winter time carbon monoxide levels exceed federal air quality standards. Without oxygenated gasoline, carbon monoxide emissions from gasoline-fueled vehicles tend to increase in cold weather. This test method is applicable to both quality control in the production of gasoline and for the determination of deliberate or extraneous oxygenate additions or contamination.
This test method covers the gravimetric determination by filtration of particulate contaminant in a sample of aviation turbine fuel. The objective is to minimize these contaminants to avoid filter plugging and other operational problems.
Among quality requirements fuel must be clear and bright and free of visible particulate matter. This test method covers two procedures for estimating the presence of suspended free water and solid particulate contamination in distillate fuels having distillation end points below 400°C and an ASTM color of 5 or less. Procedure 1 provides a rapid pass/fail method for contamination. Procedure 2 provides a gross numerical rating of haze appearance.
This test method covers a procedure to determine a measure of the acid strength of high ethanol content fuels. These include ethanol, denatured fuel ethanol, and fuel ethanol (Ed75-Ed85). The test method is applicable to fuels containing nominally 70%volume ethanol, or higher. The value of pHe measured will depend somewhat on the fuel blend, the stirring rate, and the time the electrode is in the fuel.
The Pour Point is the lowest temperature at which a fuel or oil sample shows no movement when placed at a 90° angle to horizontal. The pour point is an important factor in engine startup and fuel/oil pumping during frigid temperatures.
The Research octane number correlates with commercial automotive spark-ignition engine antiknock performance under mild conditions of operation. It is used as a primary specification measurement related to the matching of fuels and engines. Research O.N., in conjunction with Motor O.N., defines the antiknock index of automotive spark-ignition engine fuels, in accordance. The antiknock index of a fuel approximates the Road octane ratings for many vehicles, is posted on retail dispensing pumps in the U.S., and is referred to in vehicle manuals.
This test method covers the determination of the color of refined oils suchas undyed motor and aviation gasoline, jet propulsion fuels, naphtha and kerosene, and, in addition, petroleum waxes and pharmaceutical white oils.Determination of the color of petroleum products is used mainly for manufacturing control purposes and is an important quality characteristic since color is readily observed by the user of the product. In some cases, the color may serve as an indication of the degree of refinement of the material. When the color range of a particular product is known, a variation outside the established range can indicate possible contamination with another product.
This test method provides an indication of the relative smoke producing properties of kerosene and aviation turbine fuels in a diffusion flame. A high smoke point indicates a fuel of low smoke producing tendency. Because radiant heat transfer exerts a strong influence on the metal temperature of combustor liners and other hot section parts of gas turbines, the smoke point provides a basis for correlation of fuel characteristics with the life of these components.
This test method covers the determination of total sulfur in diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosene, unleaded gasoline, gasoline-ethanol blends, biodiesel, etc. It provides a means of determining whether the sulfur content of petroleum or a petroleum product meets specification or regulatory limits
This test method covers the determination of ash in the range 0.001–0.180 mass %, from distillate and residual fuels, gas turbine fuels. Knowledge of the amount of ash-forming material present in a product can provide information if whether or not the product is suitable for use in a given application. Ash can result from oil or water-soluble metallic compounds or from extraneous solids such as dirt and rust which are normally considered to be undesirable impurities or contaminants.
The tendency of a fuel to vaporize in automotive engine fuel systems is indicated by the vapor-liquid ratio of the fuel.Automotive fuel specifications generally include T (V/L = 20) limits to ensure products of suitable volatility performance. This test method is applicable to both gasoline and gasoline-oxygenate blends.It covers the determination of the temperature at which the vapor formed from a selected volume of volatile petroleum product saturated with air at 0 °C to 1 °C (32 °F to 34 °F) produces a pressure of 101.3 kPa (one atmosphere) against vacuum. This test method is applicable to samples for which the determined temperature is between 36 °C and 80 °C (97 °F and 176 °F) and the vapor-liquid ratio is between 8 to 1 and 75 to 1.
Vapor pressure determines the volatility of gasoline. The vapor pressure of gasoline and gasoline-oxygenate blends is regulated by EPA and Environment Canada. Specifications generally include vapor pressure limits to ensure products of suitable volatility performance in order to reduce gasoline emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are a major contributor to ground-level ozone (smog).
The viscosity of aviation fuel is important for the estimation of optimum high-altitude operational conditions where temperature reaches extremes.
This test method is intended as a general guide for the application of the volumetric Karl Fischer (KF) titration for determining free water and water of hydration in most solid or liquid organic and inorganic compounds. This test method is suitable for measurement of water over a wide concentration range, that is, parts per million to pure water.
This test method is used as an indication of free water and sediment suspended as haze, cloudiness, or droplets in middle distillate fuels. Appreciable amounts of free water and sediment tend to cause fouling of fuel-handling facilities and to give trouble in the fuel system of a burner or engine. An accumulation of sediment in storage tanks and on filter screens can obstruct the flow of oil from the tank to the combustor. Free water can cause corrosion of tanks and equipment, and if detergent is present, the water can cause emulsions or a hazy appearance. Free water can support microbiological growth at fuel-water interfaces in fuel systems.
This test method covers the determination of the presence of water-miscible components in aviation gasoline and turbine fuels, and the effect of these components on volume change and on the fuel-water interface.

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