ASTM D6822 - 12b

    Standard Test Method for Density, Relative Density, and API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Thermohydrometer Method

    Active Standard ASTM D6822 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.02.09

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.03


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    Significance and Use

    Density and API gravity are used in custody transfer quantity calculations and to satisfy transportation, storage, and regulatory requirements. Accurate determination of density or API gravity of crude petroleum and liquid petroleum products is necessary for the conversion of measured volumes to volumes at the standard temperatures of 15°C or 60°F.

    Density and API gravity are also factors that indicate the quality of crude petroleum. Crude petroleum prices are frequently posted against values in kg/m3 or in degrees API. However, this property of petroleum is an uncertain indication of its quality unless correlated with other properties.

    Field of ApplicationBecause the thermohydrometer incorporates both the hydrometer and thermometer in one device, it is more applicable in field operations for determining density or API gravity of crude petroleum and other liquid petroleum products. The procedure is convenient for gathering main trunk pipelines and other field applications where limited laboratory facilities are available. The thermohydrometer method may have limitations in some petroleum density determinations. When this is the case, other methods such as Test Method (API MPMS Chapter 9.1) may be used.

    This procedure is suitable for determining the density, relative density, or API gravity of low viscosity, transparent or opaque liquids, or both. This procedure, when used for opaque liquids, requires the use of a meniscus correction (see 9.2). Additionally for both transparent and opaque fluids the readings shall be corrected for the thermal glass expansion effect and alternate calibration temperature effects before correcting to the reference temperature. This procedure can also be used for viscous liquids by allowing sufficient time for the thermohydrometer to reach temperature equilibrium.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination, using a glass thermohydrometer in conjunction with a series of calculations, of the density, relative density, or API gravity of crude petroleum, petroleum products, or mixtures of petroleum and nonpetroleum products normally handled as liquids and having a Reid vapor pressures of 101.325 kPa (14.696 psi) or less. Values are determined at existing temperatures and corrected to 15°C or 60°F by means of a series of calculations and international standard tables.

    1.2 The initial thermohydrometer readings obtained are uncorrected hydrometer readings and not density measurements. Readings are measured on a thermohydrometer at either the reference temperature or at another convenient temperature, and readings are corrected for the meniscus effect, the thermal glass expansion effect, alternate calibration temperature effects and to the reference temperature by means of calculations and Adjunct to D1250 Guide for Use of the Petroleum Measurement Tables (API MPMS Chapter 11.1).

    1.3 Readings determined as density, relative density, or API gravity can be converted to equivalent values in the other units or alternate reference temperatures by means of Interconversion Procedures (API MPMS Chapter 11.5) or Adjunct to D1250 Guide for Use of the Petroleum Measurement Tables (API MPMS Chapter 11.1), or both, or tables as applicable.

    1.4 The initial thermohydrometer reading shall be recorded before performing any calculations. The calculations required in Section 9 shall be applied to the initial thermohydrometer reading with observations and results reported as required by Section 11 prior to use in a subsequent calculation procedure (measurement ticket calculation, meter factor calculation, or base prover volume determination).

    1.5 Annex A1 contains a procedure for verifying or certifying the equipment of this test method.

    1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.7 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

    D1250 Guide for Use of the Petroleum Measurement Tables

    D1298 Test Method for Density, Relative Density, or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Method

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4177 Practice for Automatic Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

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

    D6300 Practice for Determination of Precision and Bias Data for Use in Test Methods for Petroleum Products and Lubricants

    E100 Specification for ASTM Hydrometers


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.040 (Crude petroleum); 75.080 (Petroleum products in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101500(Petroleum and distillates)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6822-12B

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