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ASTM D4530 - Carbon Residue (Micro Method)

Significance and Use

5.1 The carbon residue value of the various petroleum materials serves as an approximation of the tendency of the material to form carbonaceous type deposits under degradation conditions similar to those used in the test method, and can be useful as a guide in manufacture of certain stocks. However, care needs to be exercised in interpreting the results.

5.2 This test method offers advantages of better control of test conditions, smaller samples, and less operator attention compared to Test Method D189, to which it is equivalent.

5.3 Up to twelve samples may be run simultaneously, including a control sample when the vial holder shown in Fig. 1 is used exclusively for sample analysis.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of the amount of carbon residue (see Note 1) formed after evaporation and pyrolysis of petroleum materials under certain conditions and is intended to provide some indication of the relative coke forming tendency of such materials.

1.2 The test results are equivalent to the Conradson Carbon Residue test (see Test Method D189).

NOTE 1—This procedure is a modification of the original method and apparatus for carbon residue of petroleum materials, where it has been demonstrated that thermogravimetry is another applicable technique.2 However, it is the responsibility of the operator to establish operating conditions to obtain equivalent results when using thermogravimetry.

1.3 This test method is applicable to petroleum products that partially decompose on distillation at atmospheric pressure and was tested for carbon residue values of 0.10 % to 30 % (m/m). Samples expected to be below 0.10 weight % (m ⁄m) residue should be distilled to remove 90 % (V/V) of the flask charge (see Section 9). The 10 % bottoms remaining is then tested for carbon residue by this test method.

1.4 Ash-forming constituents, as defined by Test Method D482, or non-volatile additives present in the sample will add to the carbon residue value and be included as part of the total carbon residue value reported.

1.5 Also in diesel fuel, the presence of alkyl nitrates, such as amyl nitrate, hexyl nitrate, or octyl nitrate, causes a higher carbon residue value than observed in untreated fuel, which may lead to erroneous conclusions as to the coke-forming propensity of the fuel. The presence of alkyl nitrate in the fuel may be detected by Test Method D4046.

Extracted, with permission, from ASTM D4530-15 - Carbon Residue (Micro Method), copyright ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428. A copy of the complete standard may be purchased from ASTM International,