ASTM D6748 - 02a(2012)

    Standard Test Method for Determination of Potential Instability of Middle Distillate Fuels Caused by the Presence of Phenalenes and Phenalenones (Rapid Method by Portable Spectrophotometer)

    Active Standard ASTM D6748 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.14

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.03


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Storage stability depends on complex interactions. It varies with feedstock type and source, and the processing used. The rate of degradation may not change uniformly with temperature. Chemical reactions may lead to a change in color followed by the formation of soluble gums and insoluble sediments. Insoluble sediments may overload filters, and plug nozzles and injectors.

    5.2 This test method, which does not require the test sample to be heated, uses a portable apparatus and allows tests to be carried out on site or in the laboratory to give a result within 35 min.

    5.3 The potential beneficial effects of stability additives in fuels may not be recognized by this test method. Therefore, the actual storage stability of middle distillate fuels with stability additives may not be correctly indicated by these test results.

    5.4 The unstable reactive compounds (phenalenes and phenalenones) detected by this test method may be present in fuels containing catalytically cracked or straight run materials and can affect the potential instability of the fuel.

    5.5 If this test method is used by any party for a rapid assessment of stability, it is the responsibility of parties concerned to decide whether or not this procedure yields meaningful results.

    5.6 Interpretation of results and correlation with other test methods is given in Appendix X1.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers a procedure3 for the rapid determination of phenalenes and phenalenones in middle distillate fuels, including marine, automotive, heating, and gas turbine fuel such as those specified in Specifications D396, D975, D2069, and D2880. Phenalenes and phenalenones affect the potential instability of fuels, leading to fuel degradation products during storage, which may cause performance problems.

    1.2 This test method is applicable to both dyed and undyed fuels at all points in the distribution chain from refinery to end-user. It is not applicable to fuels containing residual oil. The portable apparatus allows the whole test to be conducted on site or in a laboratory and does not require the test sample to be heated.

    1.3 This test method is suitable for testing samples with a relative absorbance of up to 5.00 absorbance units (AU).

    Note 1The precision of the test method has been established on relative absorbance up to 1.00 AU. For relative absorbance above 1.00 AU the precision may not apply.

    1.4 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

    D975 Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils

    D2069 Specification for Marine Fuels

    D2880 Specification for Gas Turbine Fuel Oils

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4177 Practice for Automatic Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4306 Practice for Aviation Fuel Sample Containers for Tests Affected by Trace Contamination

    D4625 Test Method for Middle Distillate Fuel Storage Stability at 43C (110F)

    D5854 Practice for Mixing and Handling of Liquid Samples of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D6468 Test Method for High Temperature Stability of Middle Distillate Fuels

    E131 Terminology Relating to Molecular Spectroscopy

    E275 Practice for Describing and Measuring Performance of Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrophotometers


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.160.20 (Liquid fuels)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101500(Petroleum and distillates)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6748-02AR12

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