At AmSpec, we are committed to providing reliable, timely, and unbiased analytical services to our clients.

Our facilities across the United States and around the world have the capabilities to perform a wide range of analyses on a multitude of products including biofuel, petroleum, petrochemical and agricultural commodities. Our highly-trained and experienced lab staff and state of the art laboratories ensure that the analyses are performed with the highest level of quality, accuracy, and precision.

AmSpec prides itself on exceeding client expectations by providing sound analytical science, unsurpassed testing quality and excellent customer service. We have instituted a comprehensive, constantly evolving quality control system in order to ensure analytical integrity. The program is built around ISO 9001:2015 and other national and international quality standards. It encompasses a range of activities that enables us to achieve and maintain high levels of accuracy and proficiency. It covers all facets of the laboratory testing process from sample handling, instrument performance validations, to certificate generation. AmSpec strictly adheres to standards and guidelines from API, ASTM, and IFIA. We are also active participants in ASTM.

What is petroleum analysis and testing?

Petroleum analysis is the process of gathering information about petroleum used in chemical or mechanical devices. It can be done using a variety of laboratory procedures to obtain qualitative and quantitative data, such as the amount of water, gasoline, or oil present.

The purpose of petroleum analysis is to provide information about what is contained within a petroleum product so that it may be used most effectively for its intended purpose. This allows for appropriate quality control with a relatively small number of samples.

There are several different types of petroleum tests that can be performed depending on what you’re looking for:

  • Viscosity – measures how easily a liquid flows
  • Evaporation Loss – petroleum with water in it evaporates over time. This test can measure how much petroleum with water in it is left
  • Flash Point – petroleum has to be heated before it will ignite
  • Water and Sediment – petroleum products often contain some amount of water, which is separated out
  • Sulfur Content/Sour Gas – petroleum products may contain some amount of sulfur which must be removed for the intended use of the petroleum product. This test measures the sulfur content.

International Standard Organization (ISO) follows general guidelines for petroleum analysis based on an oil’s weight-volume percentage of total solids, water, sediment, acid number, free hydrogen sulfide material, cloud point temperature, and specific gravity.

Along with petroleum analysis, petroleum testing is important for petroleum products in order to determine if they are of good quality and will work when intended.

What are various different petroleum testing methods?

There are several types of petroleum testing methods available:

  • ASTM D5185 – measures the percent volume of petroleum that evaporates within a certain amount of time.
  • ASTM D2887 – a method used to determine the rate at which petroleum products emulsify with water.
  • ASTM D93 – measures how petroleum products burn (flashpoint).
  • ASTM D287 – determines the volume percentage of petroleum solids present in petroleum. This test can separate out free water, emulsified water, and/or solid content.
  • API Gravity – specific gravity of petroleum is often determined with this method. The data from this testing method includes API gravity and freezing point.
  • ASTM D86 – petroleum distillate with a specific boiling range can be determined with this method.
  • ASTM D287 – petroleum solids content in petroleum is taken from petroleum distillates. This test measures the water content in petroleum products when it’s been separated by filtration or centrifuge.

Why is petroleum testing important?

Petroleum testing and analysis can be used on petroleum that comes from different sources such as oil refineries, gasoline plants, petroleum wholesalers, or retail outlets. They can also be used to test the petroleum before it is prepared for human use such as petroleum destined for fuel or lubrication purposes.

In order to perform petroleum testing, petroleum analysis equipment – which includes high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) machines, gas chromatograph, mass spectrometers, and viscometers – may be required.

While it is important for all of these tests to have instruments that are calibrated correctly in order to get accurate petroleum analysis, petroleum testing also requires petroleum samples that are taken correctly. When collecting petroleum samples for petroleum testing, petroleum products should be tested as soon as possible after being collected so they do not degrade as much.

Petroleum samples should be taken from the top of petroleum tanks rather than the bottom in order to prevent dangerous levels of sludge accumulation. They may have to be taken twice a year depending on how often petroleum is put into or used out of the tank. The sample can then be sent off to a laboratory, like AmSpec, for further testing and analysis.