408516 Flash Point of Petroleum Fuels: Evaluation and Predictive Methods

Monday, November 9, 2015: 4:55 PM
258 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Sara S. AlQaheem, Chemical Engineering, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait and M. R. Riazi, Chemical Engineering, Kuwait University, Surra, Kuwait

Flash Point of Petroleum Fuels: Evaluation and Predictive Methods

Sara S. AlQaheem and M. R. Riazi*

Department of Chemical Engineering, Kuwait University, Kuwait

* Speaker and corresponding author. Professor and Head / AIChE Fellow  ( www.RiaziM.com )


Flash point is an important safety data for petroleum fuels and derived products during processing, transportation and storage of these materials especially in a high temperature environment [1, 2].

In the first phase of this work, data on flash point of 65 pure hydrocarbons and 75 petroleum mixtures and coal liquid samples were collected and used to evaluate ten most widely used predictive methods available in the literature. Errors varied in the range of 1.5 to 5% for pure hydrocarbons and 4 to 11% for the petroleum mixtures.  

In the second phase of this work, based on the method suggested by Butler and Cooke [3] that the product of molecular weight and vapor pressure at the flash point is a constant for any hydrocarbon, a very simple relation was derived for the flash point of hydrocarbon systems. Relations between vapor pressure and molecular weight of hydrocarbon systems with their boiling point were used to show that the flash temperature occurs at 70% of boiling point in absolute degrees. Evaluations for both pure compounds and mixtures showed that the simple derived relation is better or at least equivalent to the existing methods while boiling point is used as the only available data. This simplified method predicts the flash point with an error of 1.7% for pure and 2.8% for hydrocarbon mixtures.


[1] Riazi, M. R. (2005). Characterization and Properties of Petroleum Fractions. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International.

[2] Riazi, M. R., Eser, S., Agrawal, S., Pena Diez, J.L. (2013). Petroleum Refining and Natural Gas Processing. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International.

[3] Butler, R. M., and Cooke, G. M. (1956). Prediction of Flash Points of Middle Distillates. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Vol. 48, No. 4, 808-812.

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