• The “Vapour Pressure Company” Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Fuel for Thought

The “Vapour Pressure Company” Celebrates 20th Anniversary

May 23 2008

Grabner Instruments (Austria), a pioneer in modern vapour pressure
testing, celebrates the company´s 20th anniversary. Starting in the 80’s
as a “one man show” the company has since evolved to become an international player providing high quality instruments for the petroleum testing industry. The company´s success began with the introduction of MINIVAP™, providing an automatic, fast and highly accurate mini-method for the determination of vapor pressure, thus replacing the manual Reid bomb technology.

Vapour pressure is an important physical property of volatile liquids especially of spark-ignition engine fuels. It provides an indication of how a fuel will perform under different operating conditions.
For example, vapour pressure is a factor in determining, whether a fuel will cause vapour locks at high ambient temperature or at high altitude, or will provide easy starting at low ambient temperatures. Petroleum product specifications are regulated by various governmental agencies.

Maximum vapour pressure limits for gasoline are legally mandated in
many areas as a measure of air pollution control. In 1927, the German chemist Reid developed a method for vapour pressure determination of gasoline. In 1930 the ASTM published this procedure for vapour pressure of gasoline, crude oil, and other volatile petroleum products as ASTM D323. In response to a need for a method suitable for oxygenated and nonoxygenated gasoline a new test method termed ASTM D4953 (dry method) was developed by the ASTM based on the D323 standard. Advanced measuring technology facilitated the development of next generation vapour pressure instrumentation resulting in ASTM D5191 in 1992, which is equivalent to EN 13016-1.

The real milestone in vapour pressure determination of gasoline and crude oil was set within the ASTM in December 1998, when two new methods, developed and written by Dr. Grabner, passed the committee.
Based on the precision data of a large inter-laboratory test of more than 3000 samples the new standard test method for measuring the partial pressure of the dissolved air in gasoline by double injection or triple
expansion – ASTM D6378 – was published. This new method makes life much easier in the laboratory and on-site. The gasoline sample is just brought to the tester and either injected immediately with the syringe
or, even easier, the inlet tubing is put into the sample and RUN is pressed. Five minutes later the result is displayed or printed. With this technology no cooling and no air saturation is necessary anymore.
Opposed to the Reid bomb technology the MINIVAP™instruments measure vapour pressure with just 1ml of sample, thus reducing measurement sample volume 100-fold. In addition to the new method for gasoline,
ASTM D 6377 – The New Standard for Vapour Pressure of Crude Oil, was published.

Today more than 20 years of experience in developing and manufacturing Vapor Pressure Testing equipment make Grabner Instruments “the Vapour Pressure Company” – and the MINIVAP™ the most thoroughly tested equipment with the broadest market penetration worldwide.

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