Why Crude Oil Vapor Pressure Should Be Tested Prior to Rail Transport

Hannes Pichler, Josef Lutz

Abstract


Recent crude oil rail car accidents have forced US and Canadian authorities to issue Emergency Testing Orders to ensure safe transportation of crude oils. One crucial parameter in meeting these safety requirements is the testing of the vapor pressure (VP) of crude oil.
This paper explains the impact of highly volatile components inside the crude oil on the vapor pressure measurement. It describes typical VP measurement errors and discusses guidelines and technology for proper crude oil classification.
It offers measurement data to show the effect of sample outgassing and to describe the impact of temperature changes and the vapor-liquid ratio (V/L) on vapor pressure test results. The second part of the paper discusses methods to measure the True Vapor Pressure (TVP) and Bubble Point Pressure (BPP) of Crude Oils for safety purposes.
Key words: Crude oil; Volatility testing; Safety data sheet; Hazardous material regulations (HMR); Emergency testing order; Vapor pressure (VP); ASTM D6377; Reid vapor pressure (RVP); ASTM D323; True vapor pressure (TVP); Vapor-liquid ratio (V/L); Bubble point pressure (BPP); Floating piston cylinder (FPC)


Keywords


Crude oil; Volatility testing; Safety data sheet; Hazardous material regulations (HMR); Emergency testing order; Vapor pressure (VP); ASTM D6377; Reid vapor pressure (RVP); ASTM D323; True vapor pressure (TVP); Vapor-liquid ratio (V/L); Bubble point pres

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References


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[2]       Code of Federal Regulations. (2014, March 13). Title 49 transportation [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title49/49tab_02.tpl

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[4]       US Environmental Protection Agency. (2014, March 13). Approval of ASTM method to determine vapor pressure of crude oil [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://epa.gov/ttn/emc/approalt/ALT101.pdf

[5]       US Environmental Protection Agency. (2014, April 1). AP-42, Compilation of air
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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2F5098

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