Chlorine in crude oils

Reducing corrosion by improved chlorine control

How to control chloride stress corrosion cracking (CLSCC) by chlorine determination

On average, a third of maintenance downtime can be linked to corrosion. As chlorine is one of the main causes of corrosion, determination of its concentration is very important, especially before and after the desalter unit and in various other parts of the refining process. CLSCC can be reduced significantly by controlling the chlorine content of your feed stock, process streams and products, thus prolonging the lifetime of your refining installation.

ASTM Standard Test Method D4929 gets updates for fast and easy determination of organic chlorine

The current ASTM Standard Test Method D4929, for the determination of chlorine in crude oil uses titration for the chlorine determination. Titration requires skilled operators, is time- and chemicals-consuming and yields less repeatable results. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis is known to produce very reproducible results with simple sample preparation and requiring hardly any operator training. Interlaboratory studies are now performed to evaluate XRF methods as an alternative for easy determination of chlorine content in crude oil, the organic chlorine in treated crude after the desalter unit and for the organic chlorine in distillates.

ASTM International Committee D02 is responsible for carrying out the evaluation for the inclusion of XRF in D4929. PANalytical is one of the participants in this evaluation.

Watch the video to see what ASTM International Committee D02 means for the petrochemical industries.

Solution for low-level chlorine and simultaneous sulfur determination

PANalytical’s Epsilon 4 energy dispersive XRF benchtop spectrometer is perfectly able to determine low levels of chlorine in high- to low-sulfur crudes. The lower limit of quantification for chlorine is below 2 mg/kg (ppm), in the presence of percentage levels of sulfur. The possibility to analyze simultaneously other relevant elements like sulfur, calcium, vanadium, iron and nickel with similarly outstanding accuracy and repeatability makes the Epsilon 4 a valuable asset for a wide range of petrochemical applications.


  • Easy and simple determination of low-level chlorine in crudes, distillates and fuels
  • Prepare for ASTM D4929 update
  • Simply pour oil samples into disposable cups for measurements and know your chlorine content
  • Analyze catalyst ‘killer’ elements like Ca, V, Fe, Ni, simultaneously, with similarly outstanding accuracy and repeatability
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