Analytical Instrumentation

  • Vapour pressure testing offers savings to help during tough times.
    Ametek Grabner Instruments' MINIVAP Online
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Vapour pressure testing offers savings to help during tough times.

Apr 08 2021 Read 11 Times

Vapour pressure is an important physical property of volatile liquids especially for gasoline, gasoline-oxygenate blends, crude oil and LPG. The Minivap On-Line from Ametek Grabner Instruments is a process monitoring analyser that performs RVPE and DVPE measurements according to ASTM, EPA and CARB regulations.

In the refinery, crude oil is processed to gasoline with different quality (octane numbers). The Minivap On-Line is blended with oxygenates, butane and octane boosters to conform with governmental and environmental regulations, to ensure better performance of the fuels and to reduce production costs. To maintain a certain quality level of the refined product, refineries watch the vapor pressure closely during the whole refining process.

Refineries: By blending C4-compounds into gasoline, profit margins can be optimized, while the heat of combustion remains unchanged. C4 like butane is far cheaper than crude oil, but also raises the vapour pressure. Refined gasoline must adhere to maximum vapor pressure limits for summer- and winter graded fuel. The most profit can be made when blending as close as possible to official limits. Which in turn requires an analyzer capable of testing vapor pressure as precise as possible. 

Pipeline Operators, plants and transportation: Usually supplier and customer agree over maximum vapor pressure limits of crude oil or gasoline delivered to a plant or terminal. This is necessary to ensure safety for transportation and storage, and to guarantee that the customer receives a certain quality of fuel.

One of the most prominent applications for vapour pressure testing is C4- blending: The price valuation of crudes can be increased significantly, when butane or propane is blended into the crude. The addition of these hydrocarbons is limited by the maximum Reid Vapour Pressure (RVP). Depending on the RVP prior to blending, typically ratios of 1 to 5% of hydrocarbons are blended into the crude. Even a small plant handling some 10,000m3 per month can expect up to $50,000 through C4-blending.

Accurate blending of cheap butane into crude oil, while monitoring product quality via vapour pressure detection, can significantly improve profit for pipeline operators and plants, paying down vapour pressure analyser equipment costs in the short term.

Minivap On-Line is the only vapor pressure process analyser fully compliant with all relevant specifications, using the same method as the laboratory instruments, which are US EPA reference for highest precision. Fast and direct vapour pressure testing saves you time and money. No matter for which application you use it - deciding for the Minivap On-Line will pay off within a short time. The unmatched accuracy makes refineries save thousands of dollars each day! Try the cost savings calculator on our website to calculate your savings.

Minivap On-Line enables true vapour pressure measurement using proprietary extrapolation at user programmable measuring temperatures and V/L ratios. It is easy to maintain and includes built-in diagnostic and safety features. This instrument will connect to process control systems with Modbus, 4-20 mA output, or direct remote control from non-hazardous area via Grabner Instruments central controller.


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