ASTM D7060 - 12

    Standard Test Method for Determination of the Maximum Flocculation Ratio and Peptizing Power in Residual and Heavy Fuel Oils (Optical Detection Method)

    Active Standard ASTM D7060 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.14

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.04


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    Significance and Use

    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 4See Appendix X1 for an example of prediction of compatibility.

    1. Scope

    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 mass % asphaltenes. This test method has not been developed for asphalts.

    Note 1An 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 2This 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 3The 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 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

    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

    D4870 Test Method for Determination of Total Sediment in Residual Fuels

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

    D6560 Test Method for Determination of Asphaltenes (Heptane Insolubles) in Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D6792 Practice for Quality System in Petroleum Products and Lubricants Testing Laboratories


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.160.20 (Liquid fuels)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101701(#2 Heating fuel oil); 15101702(#4 or #6 Residual heavy fuel oils)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D7060-12

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D7060-12, Standard Test Method for Determination of the Maximum Flocculation Ratio and Peptizing Power in Residual and Heavy Fuel Oils (Optical Detection Method), ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012, www.astm.org

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