Standardization News

Protecting Your Engine from Glycols

The presence of ethylene glycol in in-service motor oil indicates that antifreeze coolant has leaked into the crankcase of an internal combustion engine. Such leakage leads to engine wear problems. A new ASTM International standard will be used to effectively determine whether glycols are present in motor oil.

The new standard is D7922, Test Method for Ethylene Glycol in In-Service Lubricants by Headspace Gas Chromatography. The standard will be used for ethylene glycol detection by many types of companies that use large industrial engines, including:

  • Trucks;
  • Earth moving machinery;
  • Railway trains;
  • Ocean-going ships;
  • Military vehicles; and
  • High performance race cars.

The test method describes an analysis for ethylene glycol that looks for a single component buried in the complex matrix of engine oil. A dirty used oil sample is directly reacted with a chemical that will derivatize the ethylene glycol to form another compound, ethylene glycol phenylboronate, or EG-PBA. This method is more specifically geared toward engine coolants than any previous oil testing method.

D7922 was developed cooperatively by Subcommittees D02.04.0L on Gas Chromatography Methods and D02.96 on In-Service Lubricant Testing and Condition Monitoring Services. Both subcommittees are part of ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels and Lubricants.

"D02.96 contributed its expertise on analysis of in-service engine oils as well as knowledge of the in-service lubricants laboratory industry, and D02.04.0L contributed its expertise on the use of gas chromatography for this application," says ASTM D02.04L chairman Frank P. DiSanzo, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering. "The collaborative efforts of the two subcommittees resulted in D7922."

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Sales (phone: 877-909-ASTM;

CONTACT Technical Information: Frank P. DiSanzo, Ph.D., ExxonMobil Research and Engineering • Annandale, N.J. • Phone: 908-730-2815 | ASTM Staff: Alyson Fick • Phone: 610-832-9710 | Upcoming Meeting: Dec. 7-11 • San Diego, Calif.

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