ASTM International Issues New Standard Test Method for Measuring Cloud Point - Phase Technology Cloud Point Analyzer Offers Solution for Biodiesel and Fuel Testing

Vancouver, Canada, December 12, 2007 --( ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants has approved a new ASTM International standard that covers the determination of the cloud point of biodiesel fuels and petroleum products. The standard, D7397, was developed based on Phase Technology’s patented technology and used exclusively in the company’s CPA-T30 portable cloud point analyzer.

Cloud point is the temperature at which an oil or fuel, when cooled, begins to congeal and take on a cloudy appearance due to the formation of wax crystals. In vehicles, clouded fuel can clog filters and temporarily disable operation.

“Keeping fuel costs down and preventing downtime are critically important in a world of rising oil prices,” said John Taylor-Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Phase Technology. “Biofuel and petroleum producers require a precise measurement of cloud point to optimize additives and blend ratios.”

Taylor-Wilson noted that cold flow performance—how biodiesel or fuel blends behave in cold temperatures—is a significant concern, especially in winter seasons. A portable cloud point analyzer that can be used in the field eliminates the need to send samples to special labs for testing.

Phase Technology’s CPA-T-30 cloud point analyzer is compact and fully portable; it is suitable for users without special training or experience in cloud point measurement. Cloud point tests require only 30 seconds of operator time, with results available in just 3 minutes.

“Our customers like the T-30’s convenience, ease-of-use and quick, precise test results,” says Darrel Seskin, International Sales Manager, Phase Technology. “They use the T-30 to test soy-based B100 and blends such as B5 and B10.”

Under the direction of ASTM International Committee D02, 20 laboratories participated in a 2006 inter-laboratory cooperative test program to validate this new measurement technique using the Phase Technology T-30 analyzer. The “round robin” research study included analysis of 13 sample sets comprised of petroleum distillates, biodiesels, and biodiesel blends. Cloud point was measured within the range of -35 to +15 °C and found to have an average repeatability of 1 °C and reproducibility of 1.4 °C. Relative bias was practically insignificant.

Based upon results of this study, ASTM International formally approved D7397 as a Standard Test Method for Cloud Point of Petroleum Products (Miniaturized Optical Method) on November 1, 2007. Other ASTM International standards previously issued for Phase Technology test methods include D5972 (freeze point), D5773 (cloud point), D5949 (pour point) and D6660 (engine coolant freeze point).

Committee D02 is one of 139 ASTM International technical standards-writing committees. Established in 1898, ASTM International develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. ASTM standards for petroleum and biodiesel products are accepted and used in R&D, product testing, quality systems, and commercial transactions around the globe.

Phase Technology designs, manufactures, sells and services test instruments that measure cold flow properties such as freeze, cloud and pour point. With over thirty patents for innovative test methods and scientific inventions, Phase Technology products are backed by a global commitment to deliver prompt, friendly and attentive customer service and technical support.

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Charles Clutter