ASTM F3251 - 17

    Standard Test Method for Laboratory Oil Spill Dispersant Effectiveness Using the Baffled Flask

    Active Standard ASTM F3251 | Developed by Subcommittee: F20.13

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.08


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 A standard test is necessary to establish a baseline performance parameter so that dispersants can be compared, a given dispersant can be compared for effectiveness on different oils, and at different oil weathering stages, and batches of dispersant or oils can be checked for effectiveness changes with time or other factors. This test method provides a second test at higher mixing energy in addition to the Swirling Flask (Test Method F2059).

    5.2 Dispersant effectiveness varies with oil type, sea energy, oil conditions, salinity, and many other factors. Test results from this test method form a baseline at high mixing energy, but are not to be taken as the absolute measure of performance at sea. Actual field effectiveness could be more or less than this value.

    5.3 Many dispersant tests have been developed around the world. This test has been developed in recent years and provides higher mixing energies compared to other laboratory scale tests.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the procedure to determine the effectiveness of oil spill dispersants on various oils in the laboratory. This test method is not applicable to other chemical agents nor to the use of such products or dispersants in open waters.

    1.2 This test method covers the use of the Baffled Flask test apparatus and does not cover other apparatuses nor are the analytical procedures described in this report directly applicable to such procedures.

    1.3 The test results obtained using this test method are intended to provide baseline effectiveness values used to compare dispersants and oil types under conditions analogous to those used in the test.

    1.4 The test results obtained using this test method are effectiveness values that should be cited as test values derived from this standard test. Dispersant effectiveness values do not directly relate to effectiveness at sea or in other apparatuses. Actual effectiveness at sea is dependent on sea energy, oil state, temperature, salinity, actual dispersant dosage, and amount of dispersant that interacts with the oil.

    1.5 The decision to use or not use a dispersant on an oil should not be based solely on this or any other laboratory test method.

    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.

    1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    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

    F2059 Test Method for Laboratory Oil Spill Dispersant Effectiveness Using the Swirling Flask


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.020.01 (Environment and environmental protection in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/F3251-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM F3251-17, Standard Test Method for Laboratory Oil Spill Dispersant Effectiveness Using the Baffled Flask, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.org

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