Cloud and Pour Point Testing: Innovative Automatic Instrument Development That Can Serve as an Effective Alternative to Referee Methods
Dr. Raj Shah - Koehler Instrument Company, Inc.
- Rui Chen - Koehler Instrument Company, Inc.
Many petroleum products are exposed to a wide range of operating temperatures, and these products must perform effectively at all temperatures. When looking for optimal performance, top quality fuels and lubricants are necessary. The term “cold flow properties” is commonly used when discussing and characterizing the behavior of petroleum products at low temperature. Some of these properties include the cloud point, pour point, freezing point, and cold filter plugging point. Operation at temperatures near or below the cloud and pour points may result in damage to equipment, so these properties are commonly used as a measure of the lowest temperature for a product’s utility. Therefore, it is paramount for the cloud and pour point to be clear so that these suboptimal conditions can be avoided during operation.
Test methods for determining the cloud and pour points are some of the oldest in the industry, with ASTM D97 first being approved in 1927. The referee test methods for determining the cloud and pour points is performed as per ASTM D2500 and D97, respectively. Recently, new cloud and pour point test methods and instruments have been developed that take advantage of more modern technology and offer countless advantages when compared to the referee methods, such as automated test procedures. ASTM D5771 and D5950 are two of these methods, which are the test methods for determining the cloud point and pour point of petroleum products as per the optical detection stepped cooling method and the automatic tilt method, respectively. This poster will discuss the development of new instruments that comply with ASTM D5771 and D5950, and will explain the advantages these instruments have when compared to the referee methods for cloud and pour point testing.