Simulated Distillation by Gas Chromatography

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) analysts use simulated distillation to characterize complex hydrocarbon mixtures because the method quickly determines the boiling range distribution of various petroleum fractions and products. Samples are analyzed on a chromatographic column that separates hydrocarbons in order of their boiling points. Boiling point temperatures are assigned as a function of retention time in the column, based on a retention time standard. Results are calculated and reported in terms of the temperatures at which specified percentages of the sample have eluted from the column.

The system used in the Petroleum Products Research Department analyses samples with boiling points from less than 100F to more than 1,000F, up to and including Carbon-100. Data can be processed further to provide information about real properties of the sample, including cold-starting and vapor lock characteristics of gasoline or the percentage of heavy ends in crude oil.

An SwRI analyst reviews and verifies calibration curve prior to analyzing lubricating oils.

For more information about Simulated Distillation by Gas Chromatography, contact Mike Birke, Phone (210) 522-5310, Fuels and Lubricants Research Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Fax (210) 522-3658, Telex 244846.

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