New Test Method Measures Harmful Organic Chlorides in Crude Oil

A new ASTM International standard provides a test method for new technologies that can help determine the level of harmful organic chlorides that contaminate crude oil.

Organic chlorides do not occur naturally in crude oil. They result from contamination through disposal of chlorinated solvents used to dewax pipelines or through other equipment operations. Organic chlorides can be damaging to refinery processes, causing corrosion of equipment and damage to catalysts in the refining process.

“Most trade contracts specify that no organic chloride can be present in crude oil,” notes ASTM International member Jay Sheffer, a product specialist at Metrohm. “Companies that produce, refine, or transport crude oil and refined petroleum products may use this method for monitoring organic chloride levels in their products.”

Specifically, the test method uses distillation followed by detection using combustion ion chromatography. Compared to ASTM Method D4929, this new detection technology is able to speciate the halides, detecting not only chloride but fluoride as well, to better trace potential sources of contamination. The new standard (D8150) was developed by the elemental analysis subcommittee of ASTM International’s committee on petroleum products, liquid fuels, and lubricants (D02).

Companies should use the new standard for internal monitoring of their processes and crude feedstocks.  In addition, laboratories that specialize in providing contract testing support for producers will benefit from this method. 


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