Standardization News

Determination of Propane Dryness

Wet propane can cause operational issues in customer equipment and in downstream processes for refineries, producers, pipeline operators, terminals and chemical plants. A proposed new standard under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants will be used for measuring the dryness of propane.

WK35244, Test Method for Determination of Water Content of Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG) Using Electronic Moisture Analyzers, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D02.H0 on Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

"The dryness of propane is critical for the reliable operation of LPG systems, especially in cold climates," says Barbara Whittaker, technologist, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Products Research and Technology, and a D02 member. "And unlike other fuels, propane has to be sub-saturated with water to meet specifications and be suitable for use."

According to Whittaker, liquefied petroleum gases can become contaminated with water during production, transportation and even in storage when tanks have been exposed to the atmosphere and condensation occurs. "Today, there is no easy way to determine how much moisture there is in LPG at any point in the process," notes Whittaker. "This proposed standard, once it has been approved, will allow continuous measurement using online analyzers, or single analysis on samples taken from cylinders."

A number of laboratories have expressed interest in developing the eventual interlaboratory study for WK35244. In addition to assistance with the study, all interested parties are welcome to join in the ongoing development of the initial WK35244 draft.

CONTACT Technical Information: Barbara Whittaker, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering • Paulsboro, N.J. • Phone: 856-224-2411 | ASTM Staff: David Bradley • Phone: 610-832-9681 | Upcoming Meeting: June 24-28 • San Francisco, Calif.

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