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    Distillate Fuel Oil Gel

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    Gel formation in domestic burners can easily become a troublesome problem unless preventive measures are taken by refiners. These gels in No. 2 distillate fuel oil are usually the result of the reaction of mercaptans with brass parts of burner systems. The resultant copper and zinc mercaptide gels may cause blockages or malfunctioning of burners, necessitating service calls to restore them to operating condition. A concerted effort by refiners appears to have eliminated the gel problem. The tools used to solve the problem have included effective treating methods and the use of additives. In order to evaluate oils, a relatively rapid method of determining the potential gel-forming tendencies of a distillate fuel was developed. In the test, 1 liter of fuel oil is slowly filtered through a bed of granulated brass contained in a glass column. Gel is recovered from the brass by washing with hydrochloric acid and isooctane. The gel potential is determined by measuring the micrograms of mercaptan sulfur present in the isooctane extract. Determinations of gel potential are readily completed in one day. The test will not evaluate the effectiveness of additives.

    Author Information:

    Dunn, FR
    Atlantic Refining Co., Philadelphia, Pa.

    Sauer, RW
    Atlantic Refining Co., Philadelphia, Pa.

    Committee/Subcommittee: D02.09

    DOI: 10.1520/STP39347S