Published: Jan 2007
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In this chapter methods of characterization of petroleum fractions and products are discussed. Petroleum fractions are mixtures of hydrocarbon compounds with a limited boiling point range. Experimental methods on measurement of basic properties that can be obtained from laboratory testing are first presented and then methods of prediction of properties that are not available will be discussed. Two general methods are presented: one for defined mixtures and another for undefined mixtures in which the composition is not known but some bulk properties are available. Petroleum fractions are also divided into light and heavy as well as narrow and wide boiling range mixtures in which different characterization methods are proposed. In addition to methods of estimation of characterization parameters discussed in Chapter 2 for pure hydrocarbons, predictive methods for some characteristics specifically applicable to petroleum fractions are presented in this chapter. These characteristic parameters include distillation curve types and their interconversions, hydrocarbon type composition, sulfur content, carbon residue, octane number, pour, cloud, aniline, and smoke points that affect the quality of a fuel. Standard test methods recommended by ASTM are given for various properties. Finally, minimum laboratory data needed to characterize various fractions as well as analysis of laboratory data and criteria for development of a predictive method are discussed at the end of this chapter. Most of methods presented in this chapter will also be used in Chapter 4 to characterize crude oils and reservoir fluids.