MANUAL Published: 29 April 2013

Properties, Specifications, and Quality of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products


This chapter discusses basic properties and specifications of crude oil and refinery products and their significance in commercial applications. These properties include boiling point, density, viscosity, molecular type composition (paraffin, naphthene, aromatic content), elemental analysis, sulfur and metal contents, freezing point, carbon residue, pour point, flash point, cloud point, vapor pressure, flammability range, wax and asphaltene contents, octane number, cetane number, aniline point, and carbonto- hydrogen ratio. Not all of these properties are important for every product and usually additional specifications are required for each fuel, including, liquefied petroleum gas, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and fuel oil. For heavy products, properties such as viscosity, sulfur content, wax and asphaltene contents, and carbon residues are measured and reported. Specifications recommended for various fuels including biodiesels by standard organizations and manufacturers in the United States and Europe are also presented. Crude assay data include density, viscosity, sulfur content, acidity, metal content, and salt and water contents, and selected assays are presented for several crude oils around the world. Minimum laboratory data needed by designers and operators for crude oil refining and various products are also discussed.

Author Information

Riazi, M., R.
Kuwait University, KW
Eser, Semih
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, US
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Developed by Committee: D02
Pages: 79–100
DOI: 10.1520/MNL5820131211604
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-8681-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7022-3