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Petroleum Processing

Pour Point


Pour Point 

The pour point of a crude oil, or a petroleum fraction, is the lowest temperature at which the oil will pour or flow when it is cooled, without stirring, under standard cooling conditions. Pour point represents the lowest temperature at which oil is capable of flowing under gravity. It is one of the important low-temperature characteristics of high-boiling fractions. When the temperature is less than the pour point of a petroleum product, it cannot be stored or transferred through a pipeline. Standard test procedures for measuring pour points of crude oil or petroleum fractions are described in the ASTM D97 (ISO 3016 or IP 15) and ASTM D5985 methods. The pour point of crude oils relates to their paraffin content: the higher the paraffin content, the higher the pour point.

Knowledge Check

What are Waxes?

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ANSWER: Waxes are microcrystalline solids at ambient temperatures that consist, typically, of normal alkanes with carbon number between 20 and 40. Therefore, knowledge of the pour point and freezing point of crude oils is also important.