ASTM D5705 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Measurement of Hydrogen Sulfide in the Vapor Phase Above Residual Fuel Oils

    Active Standard ASTM D5705 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.14

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.02


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    ASTM D5705

    Significance and Use

    5.1 Residual fuel oils can contain H2S in the liquid phase and this can result in hazardous vapor phase levels of H2S in storage tank headspaces. The vapor phase levels can vary significantly according to the headspace volume, fuel temperature and agitation. Measurement of H2S levels in the liquid phase provides a useful indication of the residual fuel oil’s propensity to form high vapor phase levels, and lower levels in the residual fuel oil will directly reduce risk of H2S exposure. It is critical, however, that anyone involved in handling fuel oil, such as vessel owners and operators, continue to maintain appropriate safety practices designed to protect the crew, tank farm operators and others who can be exposed to H2S.

    5.1.1 The measurement of H2S in the liquid phase is appropriate for product quality control, while the measurement of H2S in the vapor phase is appropriate for health and safety purposes.

    5.2 This test method was developed to provide refineries, fuel terminals and independent testing laboratories, which do not have access to analytical instruments such as a gas chromatograph, with a simple and consistent field test method for the rapid determination of H2S in the vapor phase above residual fuel oils.

    Note 1D5705 is one of three test methods for quantitatively measuring H2S in residual fuels:
    1) Test Method D6021 is an analytical test method to determine H2S levels in the liquid phase.
    2) Test Method D7621 is a rapid test method to determine H2S levels in the liquid phase.
    Note 2Because of the reactivity, absorptivity and volatility of H2S, any measurement method only provides an H2S concentration at a given moment in time.

    5.3 This test method does not necessarily simulate the vapor phase H2S concentration in a fuel storage tank. It does, however, provide a level of consistency so that the test result is only a function of the residual fuel oil sample and not the test method, operator, or location. No general correlation can be established between this field test and actual vapor phase concentrations of H2S in residual fuel oil storage or transports. However, a facility that produces fuel oil from the same crude source under essentially constant conditions might be able to develop a correlation for its individual case.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the field determination of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the vapor phase (equilibrium headspace) of a residual fuel oil sample.

    1.2 The test method is applicable to liquids with a viscosity range of 5.5 mm2/s at 40°C to 50 mm2 /s at 100°C. The test method is applicable to fuels conforming to Specification D396 Grade Nos. 4, 5 (Heavy), and 6.

    1.3 The applicable range is from 5 to 4000 parts per million by volume (ppm v/v) (micro mole/mole).

    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 and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D396 Specification for Fuel Oils

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D6021 Test Method for Measurement of Total Hydrogen Sulfide in Residual Fuels by Multiple Headspace Extraction and Sulfur Specific Detection

    D7621 Test Method for Determination of Hydrogen Sulfide in Fuel Oils by Rapid Liquid Phase Extraction


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.160.20 (Liquid fuels)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101702(#4 or #6 Residual heavy fuel oils)


    DOI: 10.1520/D5705

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