Standard Active Last Updated: Jan 31, 2017
ASTM D4337-89(2017)

Standard Test Methods for Analysis of Linear Detergent Alkylates

Significance and Use

3.1 These test methods are suitable for setting specifications on linear detergent alkylates and for quality control where these alkylates are manufactured or are used in a manufacturing process.

3.2 The gas chromatography test is useful in identifying linear detergent alkylates produced by the various manufacturing processes and for determining the applicability of a linear detergent alkylate to a particular end use. Test conditions have been optimized for resolution of the C-9 to C-15 linear detergent alkylates and the presence of higher or lower chain lengths will be readily apparent but may produce erroneous results. The tetralin structures have not been sufficiently identified to allow determination of tetralins, and small unidentified components are reported as tetralins and unidentifieds.

3.3 Some linear detergent alkylates use a manufacturing process with an organic chloride as a precursor. This test may be used to ensure that the chloride content of the alkylate is not excessive for a particular end use.

3.4 The platinum-cobalt color test is useful in determining that the color of the linear detergent alkylate will not contribute to the color of the end use product.

3.5 The refractive index and specific gravity tests are possible aids in the identification of linear detergent alkylates and in evaluating alkylates for gross contaminants.

3.6 The water test is suitable for determining that linear detergent alkylates do not contain amounts of water deleterious to further processing.


1.1 These test methods cover chemical and physical tests applicable to linear detergent alkylates, evaluating those properties which characterize linear detergent alkylates with respect to its suitability for desired uses.

Note 1: Linear detergent alkylates comprises linear alkylbenzenes prepared by varying processes of varying linear alkyl chain length. The alkylate is sulfonated for surfactant use, the largest application being in detergent products. Careful control of linear detergent alkylate characteristics is desired; during sulfonation, variations of the sulfonate can occur that may result in either desirable or undesirable end-use properties.

1.2 The test methods appear as follows:



Composition by Gas Chromatography

7 – 15


16 – 27


28 – 30

Refractive Index

31 – 33

Specific Gravity

34 – 36


37 – 39

1.3 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. Material Safety Data Sheets are available for reagents and materials. Review them for hazards prior to usage. See also Note 1 and Section 21.

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Book of Standards Volume: 15.04
Developed by Subcommittee: D12.12
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.1520/D4337-89R17
ICS Code: 71.100.40