Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 20, 2012
ASTM D5186-03

Standard Test Method for Determination of Aromatic Content and Polynuclear Aromatic Content of Diesel Fuels and Aviation Turbine Fuels by Supercritical Fluid Chromatography

Significance and Use

The aromatic hydrocarbon content of motor diesel fuels is a factor that can affect their cetane number and exhaust emissions. The aromatic hydrocarbon content and the naphthalenes content of aviation turbine fuels affect their combustion characteristics and smoke-forming tendencies. These properties represent specifications for aviation turbine fuels (see Specification D 1655).

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regulates the aromatic content of diesel fuels. California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations place limits on the total aromatics content and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon content of motor diesel fuel, thus requiring an appropriate analytical determination to ensure compliance with the regulations. Producers of diesel fuels will require similar determinations for process and quality control. This test method can be used to make such determinations.

This test method is applicable to materials in the boiling range of motor diesel fuels and is unaffected by fuel coloration. Test Method D 1319, which has been mandated by the USEPA for the determination of aromatics in motor diesel fuel, excludes materials with final boiling points greater than 315°C (600°F) from its scope. Test Method D 2425 is applicable to the determination of both total aromatics and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in diesel fuel, but is much more costly and time-consuming to perform.

Results obtained by this test method have been shown to be statistically more precise than those obtained from Test Method D 1319 for typical diesel fuels, and this test method has a shorter analysis time.4 Cooperative study data5 have found this test method to be more precise than the published precision of Test Method D 1319 when applied to aviation turbine fuels and diesel fuels. Results from this test method for total polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons are also expected to be at least as precise as those of Test Method D 2425.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of the total amounts of monoaromatic and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon compounds in motor diesel fuels, aviation turbine fuels, and blend stocks by supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC). The range of aromatics concentration to which this test method is applicable is from 1 to 75 mass %. The range of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations to which this test method is applicable is from 0.5 to 50 mass %.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values stated in inch-pound units are for information only.

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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 05.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D02.04.0C
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/D5186-03
ICS Code: 75.160.20