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ASTM International Members Work to Address Fuel Aromatics Measurement Issue, Seek Participants


ASTM International members are working to address an issue related to the shortage of a material – a dye – used to conduct a key test method for liquid fuels.

The “test method for hydrocarbon types in liquid petroleum products by fluorescent indicator adsorption” (D1319) is a voluntary consensus standard used by refiners, labs, and others to help measure the volume-percentage of aromatic hydrocarbons in products like jet fuels and diesel fuels.  ASTM International standards in this area – which are highly-regarded by governments and industry worldwide – indicate limits on the level of such aromatics.

This test is important because, for example, high concentrations of aromatics in jet fuel can have adverse effects on turbine engine combustor durability while also producing more smoke and harmful particulates into the environment, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

Last year, a new reformulation of the dye was not generally accepted for the test method. The resulting shortage of the original formulation in the marketplace led to a robust dialogue among oil companies, laboratories, and government agencies (e.g., FAA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Many such stakeholders are involved in ASTM International’s committee on petroleum products, liquid fuels, and lubricants (D02).  

At a December meeting of that committee in Atlanta, ASTM International members both agreed to add a note to key specifications regarding the situation and discussed how to revise existing test methods or create new test methods that would provide an alternative solution(s) to this challenge. 

So far, members have registered five new “work items” focused on using supercritical fluid chromatography and other technologies to help determine the level of aromatics, polynuclear aromatic content, and/or naphthalenes in jet fuel, synthetic fuels, and/or diesel fuels. Simultaneously, potential replacement dyes for the original standard (D1319) are being tested by the industry. In addition, the committee and the industry are considering whether and how to apply alternative test methods for jet fuel and diesel that could provide acceptable results. 

The D02 committee encourages anyone with an interest in supporting these efforts to join its work.  Become a member at

Media Inquiries: Dan Bergels, tel +1.610.832.9602;
Committee Contact: Alyson Fick, tel +1.610.832.9710; 

Release #10751

March 7, 2019

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