ASTM E2079 - 07(2013)

    Standard Test Methods for Limiting Oxygen (Oxidant) Concentration in Gases and Vapors

    Active Standard ASTM E2079 | Developed by Subcommittee: E27.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.02


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Knowledge of the limiting oxygen (oxidant) concentration is needed for safe operation of some chemical processes. This information may be needed in order to start up or operate a reactor while avoiding the creation of flammable gas compositions therein, or to store or ship materials safely. NFPA 69 provides guidance for the practical use of LOC data, including the appropriate safety margin to use.

    5.2 Examples of LOC data applications can be found in references (2-4).

    Note 2The LOC values reported in references (5-7), and relied upon by a number of modern safety standards (such as NFPA 69 and NFPA 86) were obtained mostly in a 5-cm diameter flammability tube. This diameter may be too small to mitigate the flame quenching influence impeding accurate determination of the LOC of most fuels. The 4-L minimum volume specified in Section 7 would correspond to a diameter of at least 20 cm. As a result, some LOC values determined using this standard are approximately 1.5 vol % lower than the previous values measured in the flammability tube, and are more appropriate for use in fire and explosion hazard assessment studies.

    5.3 Much of the previous literature LOC data (5-7) were measured in the flammability tube.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the limiting oxygen (oxidant) concentration of mixtures of oxygen (oxidant) and inert gases with flammable gases and vapors at a specified initial pressure and initial temperature.

    1.2 These test methods may also be used to determine the limiting concentration of oxidizers other than oxygen.

    1.3 Differentiation among the different combustion regimes (such as the hot flames, cool flames and exothermic reactions) is beyond the scope of these test methods.

    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 These test methods should be used to measure and describe the properties of materials, products, or assemblies in response to heat and flame under controlled laboratory conditions and should not be used to describe or appraise the fire hazard or fire risk of materials, products, or assemblies under actual fire conditions. However, results of this test may be used as elements of a fire risk assessment which takes into account all of the factors which are pertinent to an assessment of the fire hazard of a particular end use.

    1.6 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.

    NFPA Publication

    NFPA 69 Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems

    NTIS Publications

    Bulletin 503 Coward, H.F., and Jones, G.W., Bureau of Mines, Limits of Flammability of Gases and Vapors, NTIS AD701575, 1952

    Bulletin 627 Zabetakis, M.G., Bureau of Mines, Flammability Characteristics of Combustible Gases and Vapors, NTIS AD701576, 1965

    Bulletin 680 Kuchta, J.M., Bureau of Mines, Investigation of Fire and Explosion Accidents in the Chemical, Mining, and Fuel-Related Industries -- A Manual, NTIS PB87113940, 1985

    ASTM Standards

    E1445 Terminology Relating to Hazard Potential of Chemicals


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.160.30 (Gaseous fuels)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E2079

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