Standard Test Method for Determination of the Maximum Flocculation Ratio and Peptizing Power in Residual and Heavy Fuel Oils (Optical Detection Method)
5.1 Asphaltenes are naturally occurring materials in crude petroleum and petroleum products containing residual material. The asphaltenes are usually present in colloidal suspensions, but they may agglomerate and flocculate if the suspension of asphaltene molecules is disturbed through excess stress or incompatibility. This test method provides compatibility parameters, which can be used to assess stability reserve and compatibility.
5.2 A blend is considered stable when the blend’s peptizing power is higher than the blend’s maximum flocculation ratio;3,4 both of them can be calculated using empirical blend rules. Refineries and terminal owners can prevent the flocculation of asphaltenes due to incompatibility by assessing the compatibility of fuels beforehand.
Note 4: See Appendix X1 for an example of prediction of compatibility.
1.1 This test method covers a procedure for quantifying the maximum flocculation ratio of the asphaltenes in the oil and the peptizing power of the oil medium, by an automatic instrument using an optical device.
1.2 This test method is applicable to atmospheric or vacuum distillation residues, thermally cracked residue, intermediate and finished residual fuel oils, containing at least 1 % by mass asphaltenes. This test method has not been developed for asphalts.
Note 1: An optical probe detects the formation of flocculated asphaltenes. The start of flocculation is interpreted when a significant and sustained increase in rate-of-change of signal, as measured by the optical probe, ensures flocculation is in progress. The start of flocculation can be detected unambiguously when the sample contains at least 1 % mass asphaltenes as measured by Test Method D6560.
Note 2: This test method is applicable to products typical of Specification D396—Grades 5L, 5H, and 6, and Specification D2880—Grades 3-GT and 4-GT.
1.3 This test method was evaluated in an interlaboratory study in the nominal range of 32 to 76 for the maximum flocculation ratio and in the nominal range of 36 to 95 for peptizing power.
Note 3: The nominal range is determined by (min. sample mean—Reproducibility) to (max. sample mean + Reproducibility).
1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
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