Standard Historical Last Updated: Jun 14, 2019
ASTM D5917-15e1

Standard Test Method for Trace Impurities in Monocyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Gas Chromatography and External Calibration

Significance and Use

5.1 Determining the type and amount of hydrocarbon impurities remaining from the manufacture of toluene, mixed xylenes, and p-xylenes used as chemical intermediates and solvents is often required. This test method is suitable for setting specifications and for use as an internal quality control tool where these products are produced or are used. Typical impurities are: alkanes containing 1 to 10 carbons atoms, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene (EB), xylenes, and aromatic hydrocarbons containing nine carbon atoms.

5.2 Purity is commonly reported by subtracting the determined expected impurities from 100.00. However, a gas chromatographic analysis cannot determine absolute purity if unknown or undetected components are contained within the material being examined.

5.3 This test method is similar to Test Method D2360, however, interlaboratory testing has indicated a bias may exist between the two methods. Therefore the user is cautioned that the two methods may not give comparable results.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of the total nonaromatic hydrocarbons and trace monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in toluene, mixed xylenes, and p-xylene by gas chromatography. The purity of toluene, mixed xylenes, or p-xylene can also be calculated. Calibration of the gas chromatographic system is done by the external standard calibration technique. A similar test method, using the internal standard calibration technique, is Test Method D2360.

1.2 Total aliphatic hydrocarbons containing 1 through 10 carbon atoms (methane through decanes) can be detected by this test method at concentrations ranging from 0.001 to 2.500 weight %.

1.2.1 A small amount of benzene in mixed xylenes or p-xylenes may not be distinguished from the nonaromatics and the concentrations are determined as a composite (see 6.1).

1.3 Monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbon impurities containing 6 through 10 carbon atoms (benzene through C10 aromatics) can be detected by this test method at individual concentrations ranging from 0.001 to 1.000 weight %.

1.4 In determining the conformance of the test results to applicable specifications, results shall be rounded off in accordance with the rounding-off method of Practice E29.

1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

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. For specific hazard statement, see Section 9.

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Book of Standards Volume: 06.04
Developed by Subcommittee: D16.01
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.1520/D5917-15E01
ICS Code: 71.040.50; 71.080.15